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The Arthur Kornberg Papers

Letter from Henry S. Kaplan to Arthur Kornberg pdf (131,000 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Henry S. Kaplan to Arthur Kornberg
Number of Image Pages:
2 (131,000 Bytes)
1957-06-24 (June 24, 1957)
Kaplan, Henry S.
Stanford University
Kornberg, Arthur
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Arthur Kornberg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Ann Kaplan Spears.
Exhibit Category:
"Creating Life in the Test Tube," 1959-1970
Box Number:
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
24 June 1957
Dear Arthur:
Thanks so much for your letter of June 18. I am not a bit surprised at the tremendous amount of pressure being put upon you, very understandably, by Cori and all of your other colleagues there, and can only say that I am delighted that you want to come nonetheless. There can be no question that the intellectual climate at Washington University School of Medicine is far superior to that which we enjoy and only a small number of departments here have really expressed the kind of leadership which is evident in almost every department there. However, as you know, these things have a way of changing almost catalytically and I would look upon your arrival here as a very significant catalyst. Working together I am sure we can do much to revolutionize the situation without at the same time causing any bitterness or recriminations. I believe that opportunities for making new appointments will be opening up in two or three departments within the next two or three years and having a man with your imagination and judgment of other men on hand to participate in the selection of new department heads would be a major factor in making a happy choice. Within a very few years, by such steps, the School could arrive at a position of considerable strength.
I talked with Bob Alway the other day just before he went out of town again. I don't know whether he is going to be able to write you while on his current trip or whether he will defer this until he gets back. He has been in and out of town for all of the past week, hardly stopping long enough to get a clean shirt. I believe that he was able to clear up virtually all the points raised in your most recent letter to him and he discussed some of these items with Avram and me. I really see no obstacle whatsoever and feel that essentially everything you have asked for Stanford will be in a position to grant. In any case you will be hearing very shortly from Bob if you have not already had a letter from him in reply to your own, and I hope that this will remove the last residual obstacles to your making a final decision. Your coming to Stanford would be a tremendous personal source of gratification for me and would, in a sense, be a vindication of the faith I expressed in Stanford's future when I decided to stay here. You know of course that Van Neil and Goldstein feel equally strongly about your coming and there was a uniformly highly favorable response among all of the other department heads to their meeting with you. I think that, even though they do not really know you well yet, all of them have a very positive orientation toward your appointment and would regard your acceptance as a major triumph for the Medical School. As I told you before, for all of these reasons I think you would be coming to Stanford in a position of tremendous strength and influence, and for these reasons you would clearly be in a position to make a tremendous contribution to the development of the School.
Please give our fond regards to Sylvia. I hope to hear final good news from you before long. In the meantime please let me know if there is anything else I can do at this end.
As ever,
P.S. Incidentally, as I told you when you were out here, the new biophysics lab that Ed Ginzton and I have been organizing will probably have an opening on the staff for a young biologist. I am not quite sure just exactly what kind of man I am looking for but would think that we want somebody who is strong in genetics and cell physiology and who can be the advisor on matters biological to all of the physicists and biophysicists doing other kinds of work in the group. I wonder if, in discussing this with some of the members of your staff, some really inspired suggestion might not come forth which would be helpful to us. The appointment would vary in tenure rank, salary, etc., depending largely on the man himself but would have to be supported entirely from outside funds. Laboratory space would be limited to a general laboratory of roughly 1,000 square feet, plus ancillary facilities such as cold room, warm room, x-ray apparatus, access to the Mark IV linear accelerator electron beam, and close association with a number of physicists having at their fingertips such techniques as paramagnetic resonance, x-ray microscopy, etc. There is also a polymer chemist in the group. Any suggestions you can come up with will be most sincerely appreciated.
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