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Letter from Linus Pauling to Harlow Shapley. July 3, 1946.
Pauling writes to provide a list of able candidates for appointment to the Atomic Energy Commission, and also to suggest a range of cooperative efforts that could be made between the American Chemical Society and UNESCO.


July 3, 1946

Dr Harlow Shapely, Chairman

Division of Science and Technology

Independent Citizens Committee of

the Arts, Sciences and Professions, lnc.

Hotel Astor

New York 19, New York

Dear Harlow:

I have the following suggestions to make in answer to your letter of June 10.

A. Appointments to Atomic Energy Commission envisioned in the McMahon Bill. I believe that the scientific members of the Atomic Energy Commission should be men of very high professional standing and also of great personal reliability.

It might be wise, in case that it could be achieved, for the Board to contain two scientific representatives, a physicist and a chemist.

One man that I would like to recommend strongly is Professor J. H. Van Vleck, of Harvard University. Van Vleck is a man of penetrating intellect, extremely clear in his thinking, and completely reliable. I think that every one would have confidence in him.

I myself feel very strongly that you would be an admirable appointee to the Atomic Energy Commission.

I do not believe that Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer should be appointed to this Commission. He is a very able theoretical physicist, who has held an important part in the organization which produced the atomic bomb. However, I think that his personal characteristics, and the impression which he gives, should rule him out. What is needed in this post is a man in whom people have confidence, rather than a man who is outstandingly brilliant.

Among chemists, I suggest Dr. Reuben 0. Gustavson and Dr. Thorfin R. Hogness.

B. Cooperation of scientific organizations in work of UNESCO. I think that the American Chemical Society might well be included. The American Chemical Society is especially interested, I believe, in the interchange of scientific students and teachers.

Sincerely yours.

Linus Pauling

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