Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement Narrative  
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Stepping Down
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Lee DuBridge, president of Caltech, was increasingly unhappy about Pauling’s political activities. The spectacle of his chemistry division leader defending himself on Meet the Press only added to his displeasure. The problem was not that DuBridge disagreed with Pauling’s stand -- DuBridge, too, opposed bomb tests -- but he had much more to worry about than personal beliefs. He needed to keep his units productive, and Pauling’s political work was taking away time from his scientific work, which had fallen off in the five years since Pauling’s breakthrough publications about protein structures. He had to keep his trustees and donors happy, and Pauling’s political work was angering a number of them.

He had to do something. In early June 1958, DuBridge asked Pauling to his office and told him again about the trouble his peace work was causing Caltech. It became clear that DuBridge wanted Pauling to resign from the chairmanship of the chemical division. A few days later, Pauling complied, writing, "I feel that, after having served as Chairman . . . for 21 years, I should like to turn this job over to someone else." It was in some ways a wounding experience for Pauling; in other ways it was a relief. He would now have more time to devote to saving the world.

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Audio Clip  Audio: Pauling Song. December 25, 1958. (2:55) Transcript and More Information

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See Also: Letter from Linus Pauling to Lee DuBridge. June 10, 1958. 
See Also: "Dr. Pauling Steps Down to Teach." July 19, 1958. 

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Page 1
Notes by Linus Pauling re: communications with Lee DuBridge concerning Pauling's peace activities. May 21, 1958.


Page 124
Notes by Linus Pauling re: the likely effects of the persecution of scientists. 1956.

"None of the faculty at Cal Tech feel that Pauling is actually a Communist, but have characterized him as a diluted [sic] exhibitionist and pointed out that his constant desire to see his name in print has caused Cal Tech a great deal of grief."

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