Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Victor Almon McKusick Collection
Reproduced with permission of the National Foundation-March of Dimes.
The Bar Harbor Course and "McKusick's Catalog," 1960-1980
Letter from Joseph Mori to Victor A. McKusick (September 20, 1968)
September 18, 1968
I am enclosing the check for our share of the Pot and Kettle party. Thanks again for everything.
Pat Flanagan sent me a copy of Dr. Fuller's rejoinder to Judy Randall's piece on Dr. Lewontin's lecture. The way
he dealt with her provocative statements and those imputed to Lewontin strikes me as sensitive, sensible and restrained. I
agree with everything Dr. Fuller said as far as they go. He naturally left somethings unsaid, of which two might be mentioned:
(1) Dr. Lewontin equated genetics with population genetics, taking an elitist position not unlike that assumed by some high
priests of DNA, and (2) at Bar Harbor, he was consciously playing the part of l'enfant terrible, and -- we must admit
-- gave a great performance.
I talked half an hour with Herb Black the morning after the Lewontin lecture, trying to capture the essence of the latter's
arguments and exploring its various implications. I couldn't get together with Herb on a story suitable for daily press.
In the end, he said, "I think I'll sit this one out" and he was probably wise. Had I been more persuasive, we
may have had another AP story appearing in 99 papers from coast to coast, but -- I ask myself -- would we have been happy?
Judy, being more knowledgeable about genetics and other things, went ahead on her own. Trying to bring Lewontin's elusive
points down to earth, I think she made him more of a Caliban than he really was. . . .
I assume you are in your new home and that things are moving smoothly at the Laboratory. Our regards to your family,