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The Francis Crick Papers

Title:
Letter from Arthur Kornberg to Francis Crick pdf (470,690 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Arthur Kornberg to Francis Crick
Description:
In this letter, written after reading Crick's book, Of Molecules and Men (1966), Kornberg expressed concern about the state of science education in the United States, especially in the field of biology.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (470,690 Bytes)
Date:
1967-03-24 (March 24, 1967)
Creator:
Kornberg, Arthur
Recipient:
Crick, Francis
Source:
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
URL: http://archives.wellcome.ac.uk/Exit
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Rights:
Reproduced with permission of Arthur Kornberg.
Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Education
Biology
Exhibit Categories:
Embryology and the Organization of DNA in Higher Organisms, 1966-1976
"Creating Life in the Test Tube," 1959-1970
Box Number: 9
Folder Number: PP/CRI/D/1/1/11
Unique Identifier:
SCBBGX
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Series: Correspondence
SubSeries: Alphabetical Correspondence
SubSubSeries: Correspondence 1
Folder: Correspondence K
Transcript:
March 24, 1967.
Dear Francis:
I read your little book on vitalism last night and want to tell you that I really enjoyed it.
I admire your courage and candor in disposing of the latest crop of vitalists among the physicists. The supply from that source is astonishing. I gave a talk on religion in a congress series here last year and got the most troubled and heated response from a young chemical physicist. Evolution of homing patterns in birds was too much for him and he felt more secure with Creation.
What can we do about this terrible ignorance of modern biology? A major scandal of the humanities and science curricula at our best colleges is that at least
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
two-thirds of the students never take a course in modern biology. Many usually dispose of their sciences requirements with a course in geology, anthropology or psychology. I'd guess the percentage not taking biology is highest among phys. sci. majors. The Biol. Sci. Curriculum, which has been taught in our high schools for five or more years has been an improvement but far from revolutionary. How can we teach biology to school children without qualified teachers?
There has been a rash of discoveries of enzymes that join DNA strands. One in uninfected E. coli discovered by Gellert at NIH and by Lehman here requires a cofactor which is not a nucleotide phosphate. Another in T4-infected cells (discovered by Richardson, by Huwirtz and locally too) requires only ATP.
We're investing our venture capital in Spores [?] and membranes.
Sincerely,
Arthur
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2007-08-15
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