Pauling's work on hemoglobin and sickle cell anemia adds new insights and depth to
Pauling's research and influence in chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine. Some
general conclusions can be stated about Pauling's tactics for conducting laboratory
research and gaining funding.
Foremost, Pauling did not accomplish his work alone, but in fact, he directed research
and had the help of numerous collaborators over the years. Typically, Pauling made
theoretical assumptions and then suggested experiments to someone in his laboratory,
as was the case for sickle cell anemia. Other times he reversed the process; hence,
he suggested experiments and used the data to develop a theory, as was the case for
devising the alpha-helix.
Additionally, Pauling surrounded himself with people who helped him achieve his goals.
In 1935 when he wanted to learn more about protein denaturation, he brought Alfred
Mirsky of the Rockefeller Institute to Caltech for a couple of years. Similarly, Pauling
enlisted Arthur Robinson's help to start the Linus Pauling Institute in the early
Pauling's skill at writing scientific research grants helped him to gain sizeable
funds from outside organizations. His success as a chemist at Caltech depended largely
on the Rockefeller Foundation's investment in Caltech and in Pauling himself, which
allowed for sufficiently more laboratory space, equipment, and researchers. Additionally,
Pauling's vision for the future of Caltech and his fundraising efforts contributed
to building Caltech into a premier scientific research institute.
Yet, Linus Pauling's status rests not only on his intellect and tactics, but also
his optimism, curiosity, and enthusiasm for science and for life.