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Szilard / Novick Research Files
MSS 196  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Related Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Historical Background
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Szilard / Novick Research Files
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 196
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.4 Linear feet (1 archives box)
    Date (inclusive): 1948 - 1969
    Abstract: Laboratory notebooks (1948-1953) of Leo Szilard and Aaron Novick. Szilard, a nuclear physicist, biologist and advocate of global arms control, held an appointment (1948-1955) as a professor of biophysics at the Institute of Radiology and Biophysics, University of Chicago, and, with Aaron Novick, he studied bacteria using a device called the chemostat. The materials also include correspondence (1948-1964) between Szilard and Novick and photographs.
    Creator: Novick, Aaron
    Creator: Szilard, Leo

    Related Materials

    For more information on Leo Szilard, please see MSS 32, the Leo Szilard Papers, in Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Szilard / Novick Research Files document experiments on bacterial populations performed jointly by Leo Szilard and Aaron Novick at the Institute of Radiology and Biophysics, University of Chicago. The materials are arranged in three series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) LABORATORY NOTEBOOKS and 3) PHOTOGRAPHS.
    SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series contains letters (1948-1964) between Szilard and Novick about the results of experiments using the chemostat, the reorganization of the Institute of Radiology and Biophysics, patents, research projects, and Szilard's interest in nuclear arms control. In addition, there are occasional letters about Szilard and enclosures of Szilard's writings and reports filed with the correspondence. The materials are arranged chronologically.
    The CORRESPONDENCE series also documents a series of meetings (1949-1950) Szilard arranged in the Chicago area to present and discuss research on the genetics and physiology of bacteria and viruses. Meeting participants included S. E. Luria, Joshua Lederberg, S. Spiegelman, A. D. Hershey, and James Watson. Novick coordinated travel arrangements and administrative housekeeping for the meetings. The materials are arranged chronologically.
    SERIES 2: LABORATORY NOTEBOOKS
    The LABORATORY NOTEBOOKS series contains seven bound notebooks (1948-1953) for experiments on bacterial populations using the chemostat.
    SERIES 3: PHOTOGRAPHS
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series contains images of the chemostat and a program from the Lactose Operon Meeting with Szilard's photograph on the cover.

    Historical Background

    Leo Szilard held a halftime appointment (1948-1952) as professor of biophysics at the Institute of Radiology and Biophysics, University of Chicago. Aaron Novick participated in the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago (1943-1946) and later worked as an assistant professor of biophysics (1948-1955) at the Institute. Together they studied bacterial and viral populations under controlled physical and chemical conditions using a device called the chemostat. Novick was interested in the study of mutations and adaptive enzyme formation.
    Between November 1949 and June 1950, Szilard arranged a series of meetings of researchers in the Midwest to present research on the genetics and physiology of bacteria and viruses. The participants included S. E. Luria, Joshua Lederberg, A. D. Hershey, S. Spiegelman, and James Watson. The meetings focused on pioneering research which formed the basis of early molecular biology.
    In 1954, the Institute of Radiology and Biophysics was dissolved and a joint department of Biophysics and Biochemistry was established. During the reorganization process, Szilard took a leave of absence and accepted a visiting professorship at Brandeis University. Novick left for the Biological Laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor, and later he accepted a position at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Novick and Szilard continued to correspond until Szilard's death in 1964.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Szilard / Novick Research Files, MSS 196. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    University of Chicago. Institute of Radiology and Biophysics.
    Bacteria
    Bacteria--Morphology
    Bacteria--Physiology
    Bacteria--Reproduction
    Bacteria--Research--History
    Bacterial genetics
    Biochemistry--Instruments
    Chemostat
    Microbiology -- Instruments
    Scientific apparatus and instruments
    Viral genetics
    Viruses
    Viruses -- Morphology
    Viruses -- Physiology
    Viruses -- Reproduction
    Viruses -- Research -- History