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Memoranda of William T. Golden

December 19, 1950

Memorandum to the File

Conversation with Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence and Dr. Alfred Loomis

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At Dr. Loomis's invitation I had lunch with him and Ernest Lawrence in New York on Sunday, December 17, and we spent several hours in a general discussion of this subject. (See my previous notes on previous conversation with Loomis).

Both of them are in favor of a scientific adviser to the President. Dr. Loomis much more whole-heartedly than previously. Lawrence is definitely in favor but is very definitely not a candidate for the position himself. Dr. Lawrence, a Nobel Prize Winner, is director of the Radiation Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, and was very active in the Manhattan project, being responsible for the electro magnetic separation process. He is now the leader in some more recent work for the AEC.

They regard the job as scientific adviser to the President as a full-time one. We talked about names. Dr. Loomis would prefer a man of general judgment, even though not necessarily scientifically trained like a scientific leader--somebody like Alfred Loomis, for example, but very definitely he would not be a candidate for the position, and I am sure he means this. He suggested along this radical line Juan Trippe, President of Pan American Airways, or Donald Douglas of the Aircraft Company, or who heads RAND, an engineer, and closer to orthodox lines he suggested Dr. Stratton of MIT, who has been mentioned by a number of others. Continuing to press for names with practical judgment and decisiveness--more the industrial research laboratory-type--Ernest Lawrence suggested Murphree of Standard Oil Development Company, and Charles Thomas, Executive Vice President, and about to become President, of Monsanto Chemical Company of St. Louis. Yesterday General Groves had spoken with some favor of Murphree but said he very definitely considered him not to be the man for this position. (See those notes). Thomas is very recently the head of the Scientific Manpower Advisory Board of the National Security Resrouces Board. He has been active in Manhattan project matters, and his company continues active for the AEC. I shall try to see him very soon as General Groves also spoke very enthusiastically about him. Other names mentioned were those of Lewis Strauss, Bill Webster, Dr. Mervin Kelly, Dr. Dubridge, and Dr. Bronk.

(See my separate classified memorandum, perhaps in long-hand only, concerning Ernest Lawrence's comments on his new venture and the AEC's degree of interest and activity thereon.

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