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The Salvador E. Luria Papers

Letter from Salvador E. Luria to Linus Pauling pdf (85,958 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Salvador E. Luria to Linus Pauling
In an effort to "stir public conscience," on the war in Vietnam, Luria proposed to Pauling that a group of prominent scientists should protest the war by resigning their membership in the National Academy of Sciences. The NAS was created in 1863 during the Civil War so as to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science" whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (85,958 Bytes)
1965-03-25 (March 25, 1965)
Luria, Salvador E.
Pauling, Linus
Original Repository: American Philosophical Society. Library. Salvador Luria Papers
Reproduced with permission of Daniel D. Luria.
Reproduced with permission of the American Philosophical Society.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Category:
Politics, Science, and Social Responsibility
Metadata Record Letter from Linus Pauling to Salvador E. Luria (March 29, 1965) pdf (170,628 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1938-1992
Folder: Pauling, Linus, 1960-1965
March 25, 1965
Dear Linus,
You have probably heard of several protest actions on Vietnam that a group of us in Boston has recently taken. The ad that I enclose has now been republished by about 1000 professors from Eastern Universities.
We now feel that the time for polite questioning is past and that something more drastic and dramatic is needed. Also, most of us feel the need to bear witness publicly of our personal refusal to acquiesce in a policy that is immoral and criminal. The situation in my mind has the same nightmare quality I felt in Germany in the 'thirties and in France during the Algerian war. In both situations not enough intellectuals were able or willing to stand up and be counted.
I thought that a possible move to stir public conscience would be for a group of members of the National Academy to resign from membership with a public announcement stating their reason for doing so. Do you think this would be wise? Could one get enough support? I can think of at least 10 members I could ask. Since I have not discussed this with anyone yet, however, I cannot even guess how many might agree. I think one could try to get also some foreign associates to resign.
Please let me know your reaction to this suggestion as soon as possible because if anything is done it would be well to announce it just before the April meeting of N.A.S.
Best regards, also to Mrs. Pauling,
S.E. Luria
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