Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blog 9 -- Serendipity and a scholar's browsing

I had to find a reference to an item I cited in an article. It was on Muller’s testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee in March 1953. Muller was asked to testify about his stay in the USSR from 1932-1937 when he lost his enthusiasm for Communism and became embroiled in a debate with a movement that denounced genetics as bourgeois, racist, and false. I found the article using microfilm for the Indiana Daily Student, a campus newspaper that goes back to the 1860s. As I hunted for the issue, I looked at the ads and campus activities of the time. I was struck by their views of gender (males were doctors and females were nurses). There was also a Cold War expectation of nuclear attack. Stalin had just died so the future was uncertain. There was also one constant—the thrill of victories for a winning campus team and in those days IU was a national champion in basketball.

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