Joshua Lederberg papers, 1904-2008.


Joshua Lederberg papers, 1904-2008.

Correspondence, reports, research material, published writings, photographs, committee meeting minutes, and audiovisual material document the research and public service of Joshua Lederberg, 1958 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria". From the start of his career, Lederberg retained his records in a rudimentary organizational arrangement, with the hope they would be preserved for posterity. Many of the series and sub-series are interconnected. Correspondents and information about the many organizations Lederberg was involved with reappear throughout the collection. There is a large amount of correspondence of both a professional and personal nature; however, the collection does not contain a significant amount of biographical resources, such as correspondence between family members. Series IV: Research, Genetics sub-series contains Lederberg's original lab notebooks and class notes from his time at Yale University and his short stay at Columbia University as a graduate student. There are reprints, notes and correspondence in Series V: Writing, Published Writings (P Files) sub-series which pertain to LederbergĀ²s research results from his time at the Tatum lab. There are also unpublished manuscripts, in the Unpublished Manuscripts (Q Files) sub-series, prepared in collaboration with his first wife, Esther Lederberg, describing further experiments with E. coli. While at Stanford, Lederberg bedgan his involvement in private and government organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Academy of Sciences, President's (Kennedy) Panel on Mental Retardation, U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Science (CASBS) surpassed his research activities. Records from many of these organizations appear throughout the collection notably in Series II: Academic Career, Series III: Correspondence, Series IV: Research, and Series V: Writing. Series VI: Public Service is the main source of information on these activities. Lederberg developed his interest in space exploration in the late 1950s and early 1960s in reaction to the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite. He wanted to increase the scientific influence on this new field and prevent the politicization of space exploration. He served on many NASA committees and his interest would lead to the development of exobiology as a scientific discipline. The Exobiology sub-series in Series IV: Research documents this subject through correspondence, reports, articles, and meeting minutes. Computer science was another new discipline to interest Lederberg and while at Stanford he helped develop the SUMEX (Stanford University Medical Experimental) and DENDRAL (Dendritic Algorithm) database systems. Further explanation of the databases and Lederberg's involvement in their development can be found in Series IV: Research, Computer Science sub-series. The series includes drafts, correspondence, reports, grant applications, and manuals. In the mid-1960s he wrote a weekly scientific series in the Washington Post in which he commented on political and social concerns from a scientific perspective. The series known as Science and Man ran from 1966 to 1971. A complete run of the articles can be found in the Science and Man (SAM Files) sub-series in Series V: Writing. In addition to the original articles there are drafts, correspondence, and research material.

304.31 linear feet, (309 boxes).

Related Entities

There are 11 Entities related to this resource.

Genetics society of America (corporateBody)

The Genetics Society of America was established in 1931 out of the combination of the Joint Genetics Section of the American Society of Zoologists and the Botanical Society of America, with the aim of facilitating communication among scientists with an interest in research and education in genetics and cognate fields. Periodically, the Society has taken an active stance on issues of public policy relating to genetics, most notably in the debate over the putatively heritable correlat...

Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. (Luigi Luca), 1922- (person)

Lederberg, Joshua. (person)

Luria, Salvador E. (Salvador Edward) (person)

Sonneborn, T. M. (Tracy Morton), 1905-1981 (person)

Early geneticist whose early work with paramecium was critical to the discovery of genetic recombination. Sonneborn taught and conducted most of his important work at Indiana University, 1939-1981. In 1959 the National Academy of Science presented the Kimber Award for Genetics to Sonneborn. From the description of Sonneborn laboratory abstracts and papers, ca. 1931-1979. (Indiana University). WorldCat record id: 62198002 From the description of Sonneborn reprint collection, ...

National Research Council (U.S.). Space Science Board (corporateBody)

Hayes, W. (William), 1930- (person)

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) (corporateBody)

The National Academy of Sciences, founded in Washington, D. C., in 1863, grew out of a desire for a body of scientists to give advice on scientific matters to the federal government. Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian, was a force behind its creation. From the description of National Academy of Sciences, 1863-1887 Records. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78403445 ...

Davis, Bernard D., 1916-1994 (person)

Bernard D. Davis, 1916-1994, AB, 1936, Harvard College; MD, 1940, Harvard Medical School, was a bacteriologist at Harvard Medical School from 1957 to 1984, and was named Adele Lehman Professor of Bacterial Physiology and Director of the Bacterial Physiology Unit in 1968. Davis's research focused on protein synthesis, aminoglycides, ribosomes and protein transport; he also conducted innovative gene studies. From the description of Papers, 1960-1993. (Harvard University). WorldCat reco...

World Health Organization . Country Office in Pakistan (corporateBody)