Skip to main content

Relations with other organisations, 1963-1968

MS. Eng. c. 2419
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request
The movement towards scientific co-operation in the 1960s produced numerous initiatives, some private or semi-private, some national and some international. EMBO was involved with several of these which are documented in varying degrees of detail. They are presented, for convenience, in chronological order though in fact meetings and negotiations were often going forward concurrently, making the story a complex one.

Folders F.16-26. UNESCO, ICRO, ILSI.

ICRO, the International Cell Research Organization, was founded in 1962 to serve as consultant to UNESCO's Cell Biology programme and was supported by UNESCO funds. Kendrew was proposed as "convenor" on its "Panel 1, Molecular Biology and Control Processes".

ILSI, the International Life Sciences Institute, was set up by a group of Belgian and foreign scientists under the auspices of the Princesse Liliane Foundation. J. Brachet and P.B. Medawar were among those closely involved in the plan, whose scope and aims were very similar to those of EMBO. Its first meeting was in November 1963.

The similarity in many respects between EMBO and ILSI led to consideration of a merger of interests via UNESCO which provided some administrative and financial assistance. Several meetings were held, and an "Expert Committee" was set up to prepare a "Study on the present needs for international cooperation in the basic biological sciences". EMBO however preferred not to become absorbed into a global institution of such scale and to maintain its "European" links in the search for intergovernmental support.

Folder F.16. ICRO, May, September - December 1963.

Folder F.17. Information about ILSI, constitution, governing board, programme, budget etc., n.d.

Folder F.18. December 1963 - February 1964.

Folder F.19. March - April 1964. Includes aproach to UNESCO, notes of discussions in Belgium and London (April).

Folder F.20. May - June 1964. Arrangements and notes of meetings Brussels 3 May, London 28 May, draft document by UNESCO, meeting of working group of "UNESCO Experts" in London 5 June.

Folder F.21. July - September 1964. Includes extract from EMBO Council meeting (financed by UNESCO) affirming Council's "intention to maintain complete independence of UNESCO and other similar organisations in matters both of policy and of administration", meeting with EMBO (Perutz, Kendrew) and ILSI (Medawar, Theorell, de Duve) London 22 July at which Medawar reported readiness of ILSI to negotiate agreement with EMBO, and UNESCO Expert Committee was set up; correspondence, minutes etc.

Folder F.22. November 1964 - January 1965. Meeting of UNESCO Expert Committee 19 October (official Minute and two separate private accounts by Wyman) and correspondence arising.

Folder F.23. March 1965. Correspondence of Perutz with Brachet and with MRC; letter to Brachet sets out clearly the objections both to a clinically oriented scheme and to a broad international scheme; the letter to MRC on general aims of EMBO was written for MRC Sub-committee meeting. Also included is Perutz's report on the meeting (hostile to the laboratory) for EMBO Council members.

Folder F.24. April - October 1965. Meeting of UNESCO Expert Committee 17 September and its report.

Folder F.25. 1966. Final copy of report, correspondence and comments from colleagues.

Folder F.26. 1968.

Folder F.27. Cern, 1964. Miscellaneous correspondence with F. Jacob, V.F. Weisskopf.

Folder F.28. French Cancer Research Proposal, 1964. Miscellaneous correspondence with F. Jacob, A. Haddow.


  • 1963-1968


13 folders

Language of Materials

  • English


MS. Eng. c. 2419

Former reference:

NCUACS 11/4/89/F.16-28

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom