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Letter from Linus Pauling to Holland Roberts. October 25, 1951.
Pauling writes to express his concern at the restrictions being placed upon interaction between U.S. and Soviet scientists.


October 25, 1951

Dr. Holland Roberts, President American

Russian Institute 101 Post Street

San Francisco 8, California

Dear Dr. Roberts:

Thank you for your letter of October 16, in which you mention the celebration of American Soviet Friendship Week in the San Francisco Bay Area, early in November.

I hope very much that a permanent time of international good feeling and of peace can be instituted, and that the world will soon have passed through the present troubled period.

I have felt deep concern about the state of the world, and especially in respect to science, during recent months. It seems to me that the field of science should be truly international, and that there should be no restrictions on the dissemination of knowledge and on the movement of scientists. Also, it is clear that science must be allowed to develop without artificial restrictions or governmental interference - there is no other way in which the truth can be discovered.

The World Chemical Conclave was held in New York last month. I know that Russia was invited to send representatives - but none came. I attended the previous International Congress of Pure and Applied Chemistry, in London, in 1947. Three Russians appeared there, at the last moment, and without warning - there had been no statement about their attendance sent in ahead of time, to permit the titles of their papers to appear in the program. These Russian chemists presented their papers, but they did not talk with the other chemists attending the meeting, so far as I am aware. I wish that more scientific intercourse could take place.

Also, I have been deeply concerned about the attack that has been made upon my own work. I told you about the published report to the Academy of Sciences, by a committee of eight chemists, in which my work and the theory of resonance are severely criticized, and it is essentially forbidden to Russian chemists to make use of the theory. I have since learned that this attack has been going on since 1949 - it began with a virulent article in the Journal of Philosophy. Several other papers along the same line have since appeared.

I have not been able to gain any understanding whatever of the meaning or cause for such an attack. I would be grateful to you for your ideas, and any information you can give me.

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling:W

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