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The Francis Crick Papers

Letter from Nathan M. Pusey, Harvard University to Francis Crick pdf (70,534 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Nathan M. Pusey, Harvard University to Francis Crick
Because of Crick's objections to Watson's book, The Double Helix, as an infringement on privacy and a purported violation of scientific ethics, the proposed publication of the book by Harvard University Press launched a public controversy involving the university and its president, Nathan M. Pusey. The Harvard Corporation, the university's ruling body, eventually overturned the decision of the Board of Syndics, declining publication by Harvard University Press. Watson's book was published in February 1968 by Athenaeum, a commercial publishing house.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (70,534 Bytes)
1966-12-09 (December 9, 1966)
Pusey, Nathan M.
Harvard University
Crick, Francis
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers
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Reproduced with permission of Rosemary Pusey Hopkins.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Ethics, Professional
Exhibit Category:
The Discovery of the Double Helix, 1951-1953
Metadata Record Letter from Francis Crick to Nathan M. Pusey, Harvard University (December 23, 1966) pdf (92,197 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Francis Crick to Nathan M. Pusey, Harvard University (December 1, 1966) pdf (101,022 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Box Number: 75
Folder Number: PP/CRI/I/3/8/4
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Publication
SubSeries: Other Publications
SubSubSeries: Watson, The Double Helix
Folder: [Correspondence Concerning Publication]
December 9, 1966
Dear Professor Crick:
I am sorry to learn that the book by Professor Watson, concerning the discovery of the structure of DNA, which the Harvard University Press is proposing to publish, is causing you distress. Until receiving your letter I was not aware of the project. I have discussed the matter with the Director of the Harvard University Press and am persuaded that he is bending every effort to produce a distinguished book which will be of value in showing how a new scientific idea is born.
Publication of the work has been recommended by our Board of Syndics, a group of responsible members of the Harvard Faculty. It has, as you know, been substantially revised and rewritten, and the author is currently working to amend the manuscript even further. Because of the care which Mr. Wilson has exercised and is exercising to insure that the book is of high quality and that it cannot reasonably be regarded as offensive or hurtful to you or to Professor Watson's other colleagues, and because of the number of distinguished scientists who have indicated approval of the manuscript and urged its publication, I do not believe I should intervene at this stage.
Sincerely yours,
Nathan M. Pusey
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