Reply to H. V. Wyatt

  title={Reply to H. V. Wyatt},
  author={Joshua Lederberg},
WYATT's inference1 that Avery's work on pneumococcal transformation was not well recognized by geneticists in the decade following his 1944 report2 is somewhat at odds with my own recollection and experience. If we sometimes omitted a specific citation to the original work, this is testimony to his name (like Mendel's) having already become a household word, too familiar to require routine attribution. A more useful reference might be a later review. 
Avery in Retrospect
The history of such a subject has great intrinsic interest, and often acts as a cautionary tale that should suggest that there are oversights and false assumptions at the present time.
A Comment on Historical Analysis in Biochemistry
Citations are clearly inadequate as a means to determine the true impact of a given scientific contribution, not only because of subjectivity in the choice of citations, but also because of simple logical steps to canonical, or generally accepted knowledge.
In search of the best explanation about the nature of the gene: Avery on pneumococcal transformation.
  • Eleonora Cresto
  • Philosophy
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2008
Postmature scientific discovery?
The arguments that the discovery of bacterial sex was postmature are analyzed and the correlative questions of how the problem was identified, and why Lederberg and Taturn” were likely candidates for making it when they did are taken up.
The development of eponymy; A case study of the Southern blot
Direct, indirect, and implicit citation to an eponymous paper is examined to determine the time span over which eponymy develops, and an empirical definition of epONYmy is offered.
The thalassemias: model for analysis of quantitative gene control.
The theme for this review is that efforts to account for the pathophysiology of the thalassemias appear to be converging on a common question: what determines the rate of production of a given gene product in differentiated cells of a eukaryote of a man.
Eponymy and Obliteration by Incorporation: The case of the "Nash Equilibrium"
  • K. McCain
  • Economics
    J. Assoc. Inf. Sci. Technol.
  • 2011
Breadth of influence is demonstrated by the wide variety of subject areas in which Nash Equilibrium-related publications occur, including in the natural and social sciences, humanities, law, and medicine, and subject areas vary in their level of obliteration.
Current Contents: Its Impact on Scientific Communication
AbstractBeginning in 1957, the literature explosion in science eliminated many personal subscriptions to journals and scientists with interdisciplinary interests demanded new approaches to current
Citation analysis and the complex problem of intellectual influence
It is asserted that citation data are not merely flawed in one or another respect but that they are so incomplete and so biased, in principle, that they should not be used in empirical studies of intellectual influence.
The slow diffusion of the DNA paradigm into biology textbooks.
  • B. Gaster
  • Education, Biology
    Trends in biochemical sciences
  • 1990


Pilgrim Trust Lecture - The gene
  • H. Muller
  • Philosophy
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B - Biological Sciences
  • 1947
The gene has sometimes been described as a purely idealistic concept, divorced from real things, and again it has been denounced as wishful thinking on the part of those too mechanically minded. And
Cell genetics and hereditary symbiosis.
This review is an attempt to reconcile the attitudes that plasmids are symbiotic organisms, and that they comprise part of the genetic determination of the organic whole, in organisms whose germ and soma are not irreversibly differentiated.
Experimental fragments relating to a situation in the bacterium Escherichia coli, which may be similar in some respects, are described, and the facility and certainty with which these characters may be detected readily are noted.
Papers in microbial genetics ; bacteria and bacterial viruses
In delivering a lecture course on microbial genetics Dr. Lederberg found that in most universities the papers he recommended for supplementary reading were represented only by single copies of the
The Significance of Pneumococcal Types
In the course of the examination of sputum from cases of lobar pneumonia, observations have been made on the incidence of the chief types of pneumococci, and the antigens of certain Group IV strains appear to be closely related to that of Type II.
Gene Recombination in the Bacterium Escherichia coli.
This paper will be devoted to the presentation of evidence for the occurrence in a bacterium of a process of gene recombination, from which the existence of a sexual stage may be inferred.
When does Information become Knowledge ?
By considering a specific example from molecular biology, Dr Wyatt examines the factors that determine the transformation of scientific information into scientific knowledge.
Topley and Wilson's Principles of bacteriology and immunity.
Topley and Wilson's Principles of bacteriology and immunity is a treatise on bacteriological immunity and its role in infectious disease.
Problems in microbial genetics
Gene mutation Evolution and microbial populations— Enzymatic adaptation and antibody, Physiological evolution production, and population studies Mutagenesis.
Gene Recombination in Escherichia Coli
ANALYSIS of mixed cultures of nutritional mutants has revealed the presence of new types which strongly suggest the occurrence of a sexual process in the bacterium, Escherichia coli.