About this Collection

Maxine Singer (b. 1931) is a leading molecular biologist and science advocate. She has made important contributions to the deciphering of the genetic code and to our understanding of RNA and DNA, the chemical elements of heredity. She helped organize the landmark Asilomar Conference in February 1975, at which scientists agreed to impose restrictions on the new and controversial science of recombinant DNA, and to develop a framework for removing these restrictions as knowledge of the science advanced. From 1988 to 2002, Singer was president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a position in which she not only reinvigorated the Institution's scientific programs, but served as an effective champion of women in science, of improvements in science education, and of scientists who engage in public policy debates.

The Library of Congress Manuscript Division is the repository for the Maxine Singer Papers, which range from 1950 to 2004. The collection contains correspondence, lab notebooks, speeches, reports, published articles, clippings, drafts, and photographs.

As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has made available online, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, a digitized selection of the Maxine Singer Papers. This website provides access to the portions of the Maxine Singer Papers that are now publicly available. Individuals interested in conducting research using the full collection of Maxine Singer Papers should contact the Library of Congress.

This Profile is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Singer's scientific career and professional life. Narrative sections available from the navigation bar under "The Story" focus on Singer's life and major scientific contributions.

Researchers can search the digitized items using the Search box or browse all Documents and Visuals in the collection by selecting "Collection Items" from the navigation bar.