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Letter from Linus Pauling to Warren K. Lewis. July 17, 1940.
Pauling writes to convey to Lewis the extent to which both he and other members of the Caltech staff are capable of and prepared to conduct scientific research on behalf of the United States war effort.


July 17, 1940

Professor W.K. Lewis

Department of Chemical Engineering

Massachusetts Institution of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Dear Professor Lewis:

I am enclosing a copy of a report which I made last month to Dean Tolman, Chairman of the California Institute of Technology's Committee on Defense Cooperation, on the facilities of our Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. This report answers some of the questions asked in your letter of July 13. More specifically, I make the following answers.

1. I would be willing to assume responsibility for work on a problem of national defense, and I am in a position to do this. I myself could arrange to devote a considerable fraction of my time, perhaps one third, to this work, and other members of the permanent staff of about twenty men in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering could, I think, arrange for a similar amount of work, as required by the problem.

2. Nearly all of the twenty staff members, twenty post-doctorate research fellows and assistants, and forty-seven teaching fellows and assistants and graduate students have indicated their willingness to contribute to national defense work. It would be possible to arrange without difficulty for full time work by several post-doctorate men, and I think also by several technicians and assistants, providing that funds for this work were available. The facilities for research are described in the report. These facilities are at present being used largely in connection with our regular research programs. It would be possible, however, to arrange room for six to twelve full time workers without interfering with our regular program, and to make more


extensive arrangements by cutting down our regular work, in case that this becomes desirable.

3. Suggestions regarding the specific type of work which could profitably be carried on here are made in the accompanying report.

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling



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