Letter from Linus Pauling to Graham DuShane, Science Magazine
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1 (81,935 Bytes)
1961-02-02 (February 2, 1961)
Reproduced with permission of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. Oregon State University Library.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
The Molecular Basis of Disease
2 February 1961
Dear Dr. DuShane:
I am writing to ask if you would be interested in considering a manuscript that I am now completing, for publication in Science.
I am doubtful as to whether to submit it to Science, or to Nature or some other journal. I think that it should be published
in a journal with wide distribution, because the subject is one that might interest people in several fields. The title that
I have assigned to the article is A Molecular Theory of General Anesthesia. I presented the theory to a local group, privately,
at Pacific State Hospital last spring, and also to the Association of University Anesthetists at their meeting at Stanford
University Medical School on 21 January 1961. There was, however, no publicity. The fact that I have been working on this
theory was mentioned last year in an article in Fortune.
The theory is entirely different from existing theories, such as the Meyer-Overton fat-solubility theory; the earlier theories
are not much more than correlations, whereas my theory provides a rather detailed rational explanation of the action of non-hydrogen-bonding
anesthetics. I don't know whether the theory is right, and there are some aspects of it that are vague; but I think that
it is a good start.
I think that the paper would occupy about six printed pages in Science.
I write now to ask if you would be interested in seeing the manuscript and considering it for publication or rejection, without
much delay? I write because the last paper that I submitted to Science was delayed in publication for many months by the
slow editorial consideration.