How the Cold War and governmental loyalty investigations came to affect a leading U.S. radiation geneticist: Lewis J. Stadler’s nightmare

The attached publication by Ed Calabrese should be of some intellectual interest to those intrigued about Science and Politics History combined –– throughout the 1920s-30s. This paper describes an episode in the life of the prominent plant radiation geneticist, Lewis J. Stadler (1897–1954), during which time he became a target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning “loyalty to the United States” –– due to possible associations with the Communist Party. The historical research is based on considerable amounts of private correspondence of Dr. Stadler, the FBI interrogatory questions, and Dr. Stadler’s answers. The attached paper also includes “Letters of Support” written by Dr. Stadler, describing eminent leading scientists such as Hermann J. Müller.

Over the past several years in these GEITP pages, we have followed how strongly critical Calabrese has been of Hermann Müller in previous publications about his (less-than-completely-honest) “ambition” to sell the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) Model to the scientific community, which in turn led to his winning the 1946 Nobel for Physiology or Medicine. However, this paper shows Hermann Müller acting in a very admirable manner –– within a different context. The bottom line is that the behavior of human beings, including geneticists, can be very complex..!!

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine (2017) 12:8

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