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.
Click images to enlarge
Notes by Linus Pauling re: communications with Lee DuBridge concerning Pauling's peace
activities. May 21, 1958.
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."