SAINT LOUIS 5, MISSOURI
February 25, 1958
Dr. Linus Pauling
35OO Fairpoint Street
I have been meaning for several weeks to write you but the pressure of work and extracurricular
activities have stood in the way. In any event I want to give you a brief report
on the state of affairs as it seems from here.
1. With regard to the immediate issue of the amazing Teller article I should first
like to express my admiration for your reply as printed in the current issue of I.
F Stone's Weekly. About a week ago Norman Cousins called and asked for ammunition
to be used in preparing a reply to the article. With the help of some of the physics
people I got together a series of comments on the more or less scientific side of
the Teller opus. The main burden of this material is the same as the point you made
in your discussion, i.e., that Teller's arguments are wholly unworthy of a scientist.
I am enclosing a copy of these comments with this letter. The Cousins group is preparing
a reply which is to be signed by the several scientists that are on the committee
(Hugh Wolfe, Paul Doty, C. C. Price). It is not clear what will be done with this
article although they are going to make an effort to get LIFE to do something with
it. I suggested to Cousins that he try to line up a group of three or four recognized
experts in some of the fields encompassed by Teller's article and ask them to comment
specifically on the veracity of key statements in the article. It seems to me that
LIFE might possibly be persuaded to print something like that. One point about
the article is that I have discovered that very few people in St. Louis have paid
much attention to it. Apparently most people flip through LIFE and don't bother reading
2. Cousins also asked me for help with regard to the forth-coming program that Ed
Murrow is going to have on fallout. I understand that Murrow has already asked
you to participate. Cousins told me that immediately after Murrow decided to have
such a program he contacted Libby. Libby then proceeded to more or less sell Murrow
a bill of goods along the lines that we must go on with nuclear testing if missiles
are to be of any use -- since testing is necessary to develop missile warheads. He
also made a big point over undetectable underground tests, etc. In any event it
was Cousins' opinion that Murrow's approach will be pretty much along the lines of
Libby's viewpoint. Apparently Libby has given Murrow some exclusive news items to
be used on the program According to Cousins, Murrow will depend mostly on Muller for
the alternative viewpoint. This is too bad since Muller tends to take a rather restricted
approach which is sometimes not effective as a rebuttal to the AEC position. Cousins
himself has tried to educate Murrow's people concerning the situation and has tried
to persuade them that the dangers from testing ought to be publicly acknowledged by
the AEC so that the public can decide for itself what ought to be done. In order
to convince Murrow that AEC pronouncements have not been wholly objective, Cousins
asked me to prepare an analysis of this aspect of the situation. I am enclosing a
copy of this document as well. In any event I thought it might be useful for you
to have this information about the program. On the whole, Cousins is rather pessimistic
3. You are of course aware of the plans that Rabinowitch has been developing with
regard to another Pugwash meeting in April and a bigger meeting In Europe in September.
He asked me to comment on the proposed agenda for the September meeting and I have
just written him a letter about it. I am enclosing a copy of this letter for your
information. The AAAS Parliament of Science (I am a member of the steering committee)
may turn out to be a very effective way of dramatizing the importance of developing
public policy that can turn the present power of science toward constructive uses.
Although the meeting will not consider specific questions outside of the issues that
are now involved in Congressional proposals regarding the stimulation of science,
the general tone of the meeting will favor this point of view. The meeting which
Rabinowitch proposes for September would be extremely important at this juncture because
more than anything else the public needs to know what the alternative consequences
of peaceful and destructive use of the enormous power of science will be. I hope
that you will be able to attend both of the meetings that Rabinowitch is organizing.
I expect to go to the Biochemical Congress in Vienna and might be able to stay on
for the second of these meetings.
4. We are about to try to organize a local group in St. Louis which might be called
something like The Citizens Committee for Atomic Information. The idea would be to
provide a means for getting the facts about fallout — and probably about the consequences
of nuclear warfare -- before the public so that people can decide for themselves what
our policy on these matters should be. There is still a need for a national group
along these lines. According to Cousins the actual decisions concerning activities
of his committee are in the hands of yourself, Clarence Pickett and Norman Thomas.
Such a group is obviously too narrow in outlook to serve the purpose of developing
a broadly supported program. Ed and I hope to talk with Rev. Dahlberg here about
this and perhaps something can be done.
Apart from the above I have been wondering whether you succeeded in contacting Mr.
Eaton about the proposal to set up a working office in Pasadena. There certainly
is a lot to do and it would be very good if you had some help in doing it.
When you get a chance I should be interested in hearing your reactions to some of
these things. In the meantime, my very best wishes to you and Mrs. Pauling.