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Volume 89 Issue 30 | p. 5 | Letters
Issue Date: July 25, 2011

An R. B. Woodward Anecdote

Department: Letters

I was fascinated by the article on R. B. Woodward’s notes (C&EN, May 30, page 46). As I recall the buzz in the 1960s—Woodward (as well as Melvin Calvin) was interested in “electrical” transmissions in the brain. Perhaps a reader or two can clarify this.

I’d like to share one Woodward anecdote. At an organic symposium in Indiana in 1960/1961, I was walking across campus with him. I informed him I had just spent about 10 months in Moscow. He said he’d just had a Russian postdoc who had related the following: “We are all familiar with that odd moment when several people are chatting at the dinner table when, inexplicably, there is a brief, passing moment of silence.” Then the Russian told Woodward, “A policeman has just been born.”

By Richard E. Bozak
Hayward, Calif.

 
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