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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Thomas D. Brock

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  • Medicine

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c THE ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY 1250YORK AVENUE NEW YORK. NY 10021 September 9, 1988 JOSHUA LEDERBERC PRESIDENT Dr. Thomas Brock E.B. Fred Professor of Natural Sciences University of Wisconsin 1550 Linden Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53706 Dear Tom: Thank you so much for sending me your books. I am particu- larly looking forward to reading your biography of Robert Koch. I cannot say how much I admire the energy that enables you to bring these projects to fruition so quickly;.and I am looking forward to your work on bacterial genetics with even keener in- terest. You will not be surprised if I send you some material from time to time -bearing on that subject. I am sure you are already very familiar with the review material that appears in some of my own early papers circa 1948-1953. I am also glad to send you a.little tidbit on the history of the discovery of lysogenic conversion that has puzzled me until just now. It took a little detective.work to locate Victor Freeman and I was surprised to discover that he had been a near neighbor during much of the time that I was at Stanford! With respect to the history of bacterial genetics there are a few points that I hope you go into more deeply than the usually rather superficial accounts that have appeared to date, items like: O The reception of Avery's work O Exactly what did Luria and Delbruck 1943 prove! O The jumble of confusing hypotheses that Hayes and Wollman threw up before the wonderfully elegant experiment of Jacob and Wollman on progressive entry of the bacterial chromosome. With regard to the Hayes.episodes I think you might find it very worthwhile to have a conversation with Luca Cavalli-Sforza who can be found at the Department of Genetics at Stanford. Dr. Thomas Brock September 9, 1988 -2- May I also especially commend to you some of the earlier harbingers of real insight, one of them right at home in Madison: a paper by Wright and Cole -- keep in mind

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