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Letter from Linus Pauling to Warren Weaver. December 4, 1945.
Pauling writes to note the enclosure of a grant application to the Rockefeller Foundation "for support of basic research on the great problems of biology during the coming two decades." Pauling emphasizes that this work would not focus on specific medical problems and acknowledges the need for construction of two new buildings to support the research outlined.


December 4, 1945

Dear Warren:

I enclose a draft of the proposed application by the California Institute of Technology to The Rockefeller Foundation for a grant for support of basic research on the great problem of biology during the coming two decades. This draft was prepared by Beadle, Sturtevant, and me during Beadle’s visit to Pasadena at Thanksgiving time. We are very anxious to have your comments on the proposed program and on the draft of the application.

There is little mention in the draft of work on specific medical problems. We would expect to carry on, incidentally to the fundamental research, work on certain medical problems, whenever a promising lead, which could not easily be followed up elsewhere, appeared; but this sort of medical research would not constitute a major part of the program, according to present plans.

Page (Chairman of the Board of Trustees) and the members of the Executive Committee know about the plans to submit an application for a grant to you. They also know that the program would require the construction of two new buildings, and that about a million dollars, in addition to the funds available in the Kerckhoff Building Fund, would be needed for this purpose. This million dollars is not in our hands, but we think that it could be raised.

I hope that we have made it clear that it is not proposed to transfer existing activities to the new project (except for those special researches which have been carried out under terminating grants), and that the proposed program would involve great cooperation with the present activities of the Institute.

Beadle will not take up residence at the Institute until July, 1946, but he has already made great progress in getting the Division of Biology well in hand, and there exists an extremely fine spirit of cooperation between Biology and Chemistry, as well as Physics, here at the Institute. All of us are highly enthusiastic about the possibility of carrying on a most effective research program, and are confident that striking progress can be made, along the lines indicated in the draft of our application.

I trust that you will give us your candid advice. I am not planning to come East until the end of January, but if you felt that it was necessary to have a discussion with me I could make a trip to New York just before Christmas; or perhaps a telephone conversation would be enough.

With best regards, many thanks, and the sincere hope that you are rapidly improving in health, I am

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling

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