McClintock informed Stern that she would not be able to accept an invitation to California for the following year because
of her obligations to the Rockefeller Institute. She briefly discussed the closing of the Department of Genetics at the Carnegie
Institute and the effort to form a replacement department.
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1962-11-14 (November 14, 1962)
Original Repository: American Philosophical Society. Library. Curt Stern Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Curt Stern Papers, American Philosophical Society.
Box Number: 3
Folder Number: 3
November 14, 1962
Your letter inviting me to give a set of lectures and conferences at the University of California was very much appreciated.
This invitation presented a real temptation to me and I was much inclined to accept it. However, I realized that my schedule
for the coming year was heavy with obligations. The most demanding of these is related to my participation in a project for
the Rockefeller Foundation that involves supervision of the research projects of four Latin American Fellows now stationed
at the North Carolina State College at Raleigh. For this purpose, I am "commuting" to North Carolina at unscheduled
times, depending on arising needs of the Fellows and on the requirement that I respond to these. After considering your invitation
for several days, I finally decided that I should not attempt at this period to focus attention in too many directions.
Consequently, I sent you a telegram last week to let you know my decision, realizing that you should be informed of this as
rapidly as possible in order that you could progress with plans and without undue delay.
I assume that you are aware of the situation here-- that is, of the closing of the Department of Genetics of the Carnegie
Institution of Washington at the end of this past June. For over a year, a number of interested persons has attempted to
form a new Institute that would incorporate the facilities of the former Department of Genetics and those of the Bi Lab.
After many delays and unexpected and frustrating complications, we have finally reached the stage of the first organizational
meeting of the new Institute which takes place next week. During the past year, much of my time has been taken up with activities
in behalf of its formation. Having witnessed for many years the unique services this place has rendered, especially those
of the summer program which have become progressively effective in recent years, I was reluctant to sit by and watch the disbanding
of them. Particularly now we need a place like Cold Spring Harbor that allows top-level investigators to meet and engage
in discussions in informal and relaxed surroundings. In recent years, the results of these have been invaluable for progress
in genetics. I can only hope that this unique opportunity can be preserved by the formation of the new Institute.
And now, Curt, let me thank you for inviting me to participate in a program that includes such distinguished colleagues.
I was much honored by it and I am truly sorry not to be a part of it.