Home Archives & Manuscripts Archive Contents SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION CONFERENCE, 1948, AND RELATED DOCUMENTS (A158)

See also A40/1

1/    The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, official documents

  1    The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, Paper No. 11, ‘The Problem of the Optimum Format for Scientific Journals – Suggestions and Points for Further Investigation’ by M.D. Vernon (printed)

  2    The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, Paper No. 45, ‘Summary of Information Supplied by Certain Abstracting Agencies’ by Sir David Chadwick. 34 pages (printed booklet)

  3    Paper No. 46, ‘Preliminary Analysis of Pilot Questionnaire on the Use of Scientific Literature’ by J.D. Bernal. 51 pages (printed booklet)

  4    The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, Suggested Nominations for Working Parties. 8 pages (printed booklet)

  5    The Royal Society Scientific Information Conference, Recommendations of the Conference. 23 pages (printed booklet)

  6    Addendum to the list of printed papers (printed)

2/    Society for Freedom in Science, official documents

  1    Enrolment form (printed)

  2    June 1946 – ‘The Objects of the Society for Freedom in Science’. 11 pages (printed booklet)

  3    June 1947 – List of Members. 12 pages (printed booklet)

  4    Receipts and Payments Account for the year ended 30th September, 1947 (printed)

  5    Ibid. for the year ended 30th Sept. 1948 (printed)

  6    Feb. 1948 – Bulletin No. 4 (printed)

  7    Apr. 1949 – Bulletin No. 5 (printed)

  8    Mar. 1951 – Bulletin No. 9

  9    Sept. 1947 – Occasional Pamphlet No. 6, ‘The Foundations of Academic Freedom’ by Michael Polanyi. 20 pages (printed booklet)

A158/2/10    May 1948 – Occasional Pamphlet No. 7, ‘Science pure et Science appliquée, à la Lumière de l’Histoire des Sciences’ by J. Pelseneer. 8 pages (printed booklet)

 11    Mar. 1951 – Occasional Pamphlet No. 11, ‘Speeches made at the Dinner held to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Foundation of the Society’ by George Thomson and Sir Henry Dale. 12 pages (printed booklet)

3/    Correspondence

  1    S.A. Neave, Secretary, Zoological Society of London, to [W.B. Fagg], RAI Hon. Secretary, 3 Apr. 1948 – refers to proposals contained in the memorandum on the subject of ‘Publication and Distribution of Papers Reporting Original Work’ at the Scientific Information Conference; suggests a meeting in advance (tp.)

  2    Ibid., 15 Apr. – encloses memorandum drawn up at meeting yesterday; the meeting was unanimous in taking exception to some of the proposals, especially those put forward by Prof. Bernal regarding the preparation and distribution of scientific papers; they think it desirable to forward a statement to the Royal Society putting forward objections; asks for support (tp.)

  3    John R. Baker, Hon. Secretary, Society for Freedom in Science, to W.B. Fagg, 17 Apr. – refers to his letter [not held]; on RAI taking steps to oppose Bernal’s plans; the Society for Freedom in Science will present an official statement; would welcome his membership; encloses statement of objects and an enrolment form (autogr.)

  4    W.B. Fagg to Dr S.A. Neave, 20 Apr. – refers to his letter of 15 Apr.; RAI wishes to adhere to the draft memorandum dealing with Prof. Bernal’s proposals; assures him of the RAI’s support in seeking the defeat and preferably withdrawal of these proposals; will attend the next meeting and sign the memorandum on behalf of the RAI (tp. with autogr. note by W.B. Fagg on verso – President does not feel able to authorise signature without reference to Council) [another copy, marked ‘not sent’, not retained]

  5    Prof. M. Polanyi to W.B. Fagg, 21 Apr. – refers to his letter [not held]; glad to hear of the protest which he and other Societies have laid in against the ‘absurd and dangerous’ propositions of Bernal; the Secretary of the Society for Freedom in Science was preparing to intervene; passes on to him his letter (tp.)

A158/3/6        Edward Hindle, Zoological Society of London, to W.B. Fagg, 24 Apr. – forwards memorandum prepared as a result of the two meetings concerning the proposals put forward in connexion with the Scientific Information Conference; his approval is stated to have been given as an individual; it is presumed he will submit the Memorandum for the consideration of his Council (tp.)

  7    […?], p.p. John R. Baker, to W.B. Fagg, 3 May – letter follows (autogr. pc)

  8    Receipt for £1 received from W.B. Fagg (printed and autogr.)

  9    John R. Baker to W.B. Fagg, 4 May – acknowledges his enrolment; is sending some enrolment forms and a copy of the statement of objects; on subscription (tp.)

 10    Society for Freedom in Science, ‘Notice to New Members’ (tp.)

 11    W.B. Fagg to the Secretary, the Royal Society, 4 May – RAI Council have considered the documents circulated in connexion with the forthcoming Scientific Information Conference; they have taken particular note of the proposals put forward by Prof. Bernal; states the resolution which was adopted; particular objection was taken to the suggestion that a ‘National Distributing Authority’ might determine to which publication a paper should be submitted; copies of relevant documents are being circulated to members of the Joint Committee for Anthropological Research and Teaching; the RAI is anxious to make the fullest contribution to the success of the conference; its President Prof. Daryll Forde is its chief delegate. 2 leaves (mimeo)

 12    John R. Baker to W.B. Fagg, 5 May – refers to his letters and the ‘confidential paper’; the Society for Freedom in Science is publishing a letter in Nature shortly [see /3/15]; should be glad to have more anthropologists among the members; on taking pamphlets to the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (tp.)

 13    D.C. Martin, Assistant Secretary, the Royal Society, to ibid., 8 May – refers to his letter of 4 May; the RAI’s views will be communicated to those concerned in making the arrangements for the Conference; notes that the President will attend (tp.)

A158/3/14    A.C. Egerton, p.p. D.M., to Dr Neave, ibid. – the Memorandum he forwarded has been considered by the Conference Committee, particularly the request that the Memorandum be circulated as a Conference paper; the Editor’s Notes were prepared with the view to provoke constructive discussion; in the view of the Committee the Memorandum is not sufficiently factual and specific to be a Conference paper; there has been some misunderstanding of the Editor’s objects; invites him to amplify the Memorandum; the Editors have been asked to be available to explain the notes more fully (tp.)

 15    G.P. Thomson, President, & John R. Baker, Hon. Secretary, Society for Freedom in Science – letter to Nature, Vol. 161, No. 4098, p. 771, 15 May, on ‘Proposed Central Publication of Scientific Papers’, the scheme put forward by Prof. J.D. Bernal; on the scheme; make some comments on it (offprint)

 16    Ibid. (page from Nature) (printed)

 .1    Note by E.J. Lindgren, nd – hopes Baker can have this duplicated (autogr.)

 17    Watson Davis, letter to Nature, vol. 161, No. 4101, p. 896, 5 June, on ‘Proposed Central Publication of Scientific Papers’ (page from Nature)

 .1    Note by E.J. Lindgren on ‘Soviet Science (autogr.)

 18    S.A. Neave to Sir Alfred Egerton, 18 May – refers to his letter of 8 May; notes that the Conference Committee requests that the Memorandum be resubmitted; there is not time to convene another meeting of Societies; nor is he in favour of modifying the Memorandum; the Memorandum was prepared in response to a request for comments; if he is of the opinion that it does not constitute a suitable paper for circulation, he must be the best judge (tp.)

 19    W.B. Fagg, 19 May – circular letter to the Joint Committee for Anthropological Research and Teaching on the Scientific Information Conference; encloses papers as circulated to members of Council before their meeting on 4 May; encloses copy of his letter to the Secretary of the Royal Society [see ???]; on the International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (tp.)

A158/3/20    Papers as enclosed with the circular letter; Note by W.B. Fagg; Proposed Resolution; Provisional Scheme for Central Distribution of Scientific Publications by Prof. J.D. Bernal; Memorandum on Part 1 dealing with the Central Distribution of Scientific Publications; list of societies [who contributed to the Memorandum?] 11 pages (tp.)

 21    W.B. Fagg, nd – Note by the Hon. Secretary. 4 leaves (autogr. draft)

 22    S.A. Neave to W.B. Fagg, 20 May – encloses copies of correspondence between himself and the Secretary of the Royal Society; summarises points from the letters; if the RAI wishes to adhere to the principles set out in the Memorandum it is essential that the case be forcibly stated viva voce; asks for his comments; asks for the name of the RAI delegate to the Conference (tp.)

 23    Alexander Farquharson, Institute of Sociology, to ibid., 25 May – refers to his communication and enclosures of 19 May [see /3/19 & /3/20]; is in full agreement with the views expressed in his communication to the Royal Society; shall bring the matter before his Council at an early date (tp.)

 24    Stuart Piggott to ibid., 27 May – regarding the documents he circulated on the Scientific Information Conference, expresses his approval of the position taken by the RAI; refers to ‘dangerous’ proposals of Prof. Bernal (autogr.)

 25    H.J. Rose to ibid., ibid. – has received his communication of the proposal for a ‘distributing centre’ for scientific papers; agrees with the RAI in opposing the scheme; has asked the Council of the Scottish Anthropological and Folklore Society to consider the papers (tp.)

 26    D.C. Martin to Dr S.A. Neave, 26 May – refers to his letter of 18 May; the Memorandum will be issued as a Conference paper (tp. copy)

 27    Zoological Society of London, compliments slip (printed)

 28    John L. Myres to W.B. Fagg, 31 May – thanks him for papers on the Scientific Information Service; gives his opinion on the scheme (autogr.)

 29    William Rees, University of Wales, to ibid., 3 June – thanks him for letter and enclosed documents; agrees that the proposal is open to the greatest objections (autogr.)

A158/3/30    John R. Baker to ibid., 9 June – glad he approves of the letter to Nature; on having lunch with him and Tansley; hopes that Godwin will be representing the Society’s views at the Conference (tp.)

 31    Kenneth Mason, Features Department, Daily Graphic, to [W.B. Fagg?], 15 June – on sending material about the RAI which would make a feature article or paragraph (tp.)

 32    Stuart Piggott to W.B. Fagg, 21 June – has seen Baker and Tansley’s letter; will follow it up (autogr. pc)

 33    John R. Baker to [W.B. Fagg?], ibid. – acknowledges his letter; is wholly occupied by examinations and cannot attend to correspondence (tp.)

 34    Ibid. to W.B. Fagg, 22 June – thanks him for report on first afternoon’s meeting; on a leading article; is indebted to him for putting them in touch with the Times (tp.)

 35    S.A. Neave to ibid., ibid. – refers to his letter of 20 June [not held]; refers to leader in yesterday’s Times; it appears that Bernal is withdrawing most of his more objectionable proposals (tp.)

 36    T.K. Penniman to ibid., 25 June – on Lord Cherwell writing to the Times (tp.)

 37    John R. Baker to ibid., 29 June – on being overwhelmed by examinations and unable to answer correspondence; on answering Waddington’s letter; is well satisfied with the course of events; asks for copy of what Utley wrote in the Observer (tp.)

 38    Ibid., 7 July – refers to his two letters [not held]; glad he took the matter up with the Guardian; on having lunch together; on W.B. Fagg’s Economist article; does not think he and Tansley will answer the New Statesman (tp.)

 39    Ibid., 14 July – thanks him for sending letter which he omitted to post; he has kept him well informed; members of the Society have approved the action taken; hopes to see him in London (tp.)

 40    W.B. Fagg to P.H. Canham, pre-12 Oct. – on the Lystads having pro-Communist sympathies; mentions Mel Herskovits; suggests they meet soon to discuss the matter (autogr. draft)

 41    P.H. Canham, Colonial Office, to W.B. Fagg, 12 Oct. – thanks him for his letter about the Lystads; hopes they can meet for lunch (tp.)

A158/4/ Press articles and letters

  1    28 July 1947 – ‘Nationalism’ (newspaper cutting)

  2    4 Aug. – ‘Drawing the Curtain’ (newspaper cutting)

  3    26 Sept. – ‘Scientific Warfare’. 2 leaves (newspaper cutting)

  4    W.B. Fagg to the Editor, the Times, 21 June 1948’ – refers to letter from the Society for Freedom in Science; refers to report in the Feb. issue of the Scientific Worker referring to scheme by Prof. Bernal (tp., marked ‘not for publication’)

  5    Ibid. (autogr. draft)

  6    H.J. Fleure to the Editor, the Times, 21 June – on the proposals for a central body to distribute scientific papers; on the dangers of such a plan (tp.)

  7    W.B. Fagg to the Manchester Guardian, 22 June – ‘Scientific Information’ (newspaper cutting)

  8    Ibid. (autogr. draft)

  9    23 June – ‘Science and Print’ (newspaper cutting)

 10    Donald McLachlan, the Economist, to W.B. Fagg, 25 June – thanks him for letter about Scientific Conference; has passed it on to his colleague Alastair Buchan; something has appeared in the Economist (tp.)

 11    W.B. Fagg to […?], 27 June – on Prof. Bernal’s proposals (autogr. draft)

 12    Ibid. to Alastair Buchan, 27 June – refers to his letter to Mr McLachlan; asks whether the Economist would be interested in an article on the Scientific Information Conference; outlines what the article would cover; suggests that he get in touch if he is interested (tp.)

 13    Christina Brougham, the Economist, to W.B. Fagg, 7 July – sends him pulls of his article which appears in the current issue [issue of 3 July, pp. 5-6] (tp.)

 14    [W.B. Fagg], ‘Science and Planning’ (offprint)

 15    The Economist, 17 July – letter from D.N. Lowe, Secretary, British Association for the Advancement of Science, in response to W.B. Fagg’s article (printed page)

A158/4/16    The Times Educational Supplement, 31 July – ‘University Freedom’ (newspaper cutting)

 17    W.B. Fagg to the Times Educational Supplement, 3 Aug. – letter in response to leading article on ‘University Freedom’ (autogr. draft)

 18    J.D. Bernal to the Manchester Guardian, 1 Feb. 1949 – letter on ‘Science and Freedom’ (newspaper cutting)

 19    The Editor, the Daily Mail, to […?], 28 Aug. 1950 – on not publishing a letter (tp.)

 20    W.B. Fagg, ‘A Trojan Horse Rejected’ – on the Scientific Information Conference. 3 leaves (autogr. draft; incomplete)

 21    Ibid., nd – list of newspaper titles (autogr.)

5/    Miscellaneous

  1    Programme for ‘Congres: Sedimentation et Quaternaire. 24 Mai – 2 Juin 1949’. 3 leaves (tp., in French)

  2    ‘Co-operation with Russian Scientists’, offprint from Man (printed with autogr. corrections)

  3    Announcement of Beit Fellowships (newspaper cutting)

  4    3 Mar. 1948 – draft announcement from the Linnean Society, on the Scientific Information Conference (tp.)

  5    16 Apr. 1948 – UNESCO Press Release concerning Dr Joseph Needham, who is leaving UNESCO to return to Cambridge (tp.)

 .1    Note by E.J. Lindgren referring to the Scientific Information Conference (autogr.)