Letter from Christian B. Anfinsen, Marshall W. Nirenberg to President of Brazil
Anfinsen and the 1968 Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine, Nirenberg, protested the Brazilian government's purging
of its renowned scientists Isaias Raw, Alberto Carvalho da Silva, and Helio Lourenco de Oliveira. In this letter to President
Artur da Costa e Silva, the two scientists argued for continuity between the scientific exchange of ideas and political freedom.
The recent decision of your government to remove a number of Brazil's leading scientists and scholars from their University
positions is a matter of grave concern to us. We feel that to deprive Brazil of the benefit of the intellectual and scientific
leadership provided by such internationally eminent scientists as Profs. Isaias Raw, Alberto Carvalho da Silva and Helio Lourenco
de Oliveira among others, will cause inestimable damage to the progress of science and education in Brazil. Moreover, the
anti-intellectual image of the government, created by this unfortunate action, is certain to have serious repercussions among
scientists in the world community, whose sympathy and cooperation is essential to the continued technological development
We appeal to you to look personally into this matter in order that these scholars are returned to their institutions and encouraged
to pursue their work in a climate of intellectual freedom.