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Letter from William Hayes to Thomas D. Brock

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  • Literature
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Dear Prof.Brock, Thank you for your letter of 15 July. I do indeed remember you and the lecture you gave to my group in London. I am intrigued to learn of your current interest in the early history of bacterial genetics and wonder if you are contemplating writing a book about it. I regret that I have not kept any of my correspondence with the Lederbergs, Cavalli-Sforsa,Jacob,Wollman & Co. in the early 1950s. But,following your letter,1 searched the old packing cases I brought to Australia and discovered four of my experi- mental notebooks covering my first Kl2 experiments on 17 July 1950 to the time I left Caltech at the end of December 1953! These,of course,are far too detailed and exotic to be of value to you. I started to write However,about a year ago a rather desultory mini-autobiography which the Royal Society requests as the basis for an obituary(!) and,on looking through this,1 find about ten pages on the early K12 work which might be of interest. So I will copy these and send them to you by the univers- ity "courier mail" this letter. service so that they may arrive before I will also include an off-print of an article that might interest you on "Max Delbruck a&the Birth of Molecular BiologyVt which I wrote for a recent number of the N.Y.quarterly tlSocial Research". This journal is read mainly by sociologists,philosophers &c., so I tried to.use as little jargon as possible. If there is anything you would like me to expand,or if I can help $n any other way,please do'nt hesitate to let me know. As for myself,1 accepted a "pure research" Chair in Canberra twelve years ago to esca load of administration(which I hate! P e an increasing in the UK. although I made no epoch-making discoveries,1 have So, enjoyed my Australian adventure! I have now beenV1retiredll for five years but still have a small lab and give some undergraduate lectures on such topics as the molecular genetics of phage/prophage,and the recent exciting

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