birthday or the anniversary of a special achievement or any of the
other usual occasions. We just decided it was our turn to honor this
man who had done so much to raise public awareness of nutrition and
health and whose orthomolecular concept had guided our society and
given it its name.
As president of the Orthomolecular Medical Society at that time, I
had the privilege of organizing the meeting and inviting the
speakers. This was no easy task, since through his long career Linus
Pauling had known and worked with many people and had made many
friends. Alexander Rich and Norman Davidson, who had edited a
festschrift for Dr. Pauling in 1968,* very kindly provided names and
addresses of significant people in his life. To that list I added the
names of others who were working in areas of interest to Dr. Pauling.
I originally had in mind a sort of "This Is Your Life, Linus
Pauling," but it was not to be. I learned that Linus Pauling's
intellectual edifice had many rooms, with doors through which Dr.
Pauling passed with ease, but other occupants of this mansion felt
more comfortable in their own chambers. So I did not succeed in
enticing any of his earlier colleagues, pure chemists and
crystallographers, to our medical gathering. As I became more
familiar with Dr. Pauling's remarkably varied career, I thought of
Oliver Wendell Holmes's lines about the chambered nautilus:
Year after year beheld the
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the last year's dwelling
for the new.
The speakers were invited, the members of the Orthomolecular Medical
Society were notified, and everyone gathered in San Francisco on May
7 and 8. Displaying no jet lag despite having just returned from
speaking engagements in Europe, Dr. Pauling listened to each
presentation with evident relish and attended the Saturday evening
reception at Dick Kunin's elegant home. The program went off without
The society planned right from the beginning to make the proceedings
of the meeting into a book, a festschrift for Dr. Pauling. However,
what you see in these pages is not exactly what was presented at the
meeting. Some speakers have extensively revised their papers, and two
invitees who could not attend sent excellent manuscripts that I have
included. Other speakers did not submit manuscripts for publication.
We began to see the purpose of the book as different from that of the
meeting. Whereas the symposium was intended as a tribute to a great
man, the book would do double duty as both tribute and text. We
perceived the book, more and more, as a means of communicating the
essentials of orthomolecular medicine to our friends in other fields
of practice. Thus, four chapters have been added to draw a clearer
and more comprehensive picture of orthomolecular medicine.
Although Dr. Pauling's work for peace and social justice is
not obviously connected to orthomolecular medicine, I cannot see that
it is any less important than his scientific work. I am not even sure
that it can be separated from his scientific work. As discussions of
it were part of our original tribute, I have included the subject in
In editing this collection, I have tried to preserve the
intimacy and spirit of the spoken presentations wherever I could.
Thus, I have left mostly intact the authors personal
reminiscences and comments about Dr. Pauling. I have also retained
the extemporaneous remarks presented by Pauling at the end of the
symposium, thereby scoring a first in publishing history: Dr. Pauling
has contributed to his own festschrift! But some things cannot be set
in type: emotions, such as our delight at Crellin Pauling's account
of growing up with his famous father, or the comradery we felt, or
our awe at viewing hemoglobin A in color and three dimensions--an
ancient micro-landscape that evokes feelings you might experience in
Vitamin C buffs will not be disappointed by this volume, but
orthomolecular medicine encompasses far more than vitamins.
Practicing physicians will find particularly relevant the chapters
with extensive reviews of immunology and orthomolecular psychiatry. I
must admit to having been unprepared in 1983 for the emphasis placed
on free-radical biology by many of the symposium speakers. Three
years later it seems very appropriate and well within the mainstream.
Dr. Pauling, of course, had written on free radicals back in the 1930s.
I have enjoyed editing this book. The authors were usually
prompt and were always tolerant of suggestions for improvement.
(Fully a third of the authors, by the way, are current or former
members of the Orthomolecular Medical Society.) But I edited Irwin
Stone's contribution with great sadness, for Dr. Stone died from an
accident in May 1984, a year after our symposium. I hope that, in
polishing his words, I have not made less luminous the message he had
I would like to thank some people. In the early stages of this
project, Ralph Buchsbaum and Ted Melnechuk provided valuable advice
on book production to the neophyte editor. Gerard Piel gave the green
light for publication at W. H. Freeman, and Jim Dodd took the book
through its first steps. Our project editor, Susan Moran, coordinated
everything, kept everyone on schedule, and did it all with good humor
and tact. I thank my wife Gloria for transcribing tapes and retyping
manuscripts, and my son Peter for the frontispiece photograph. Thanks
are also due to the OMS headquarters staff, and particularly Ruth
Cammack, for typing and symposium coordination.
Most of all, I thank the contributors to this volume for giving me
the opportunity to become thoroughly familiar with a wealth of
fascinating information. There is something to be said for Keats's
assertion that truth is beauty; there is much beauty in the truths of
science, and I trust that those who read these pages will see it
behind the technical words. Similar thoughts have been well expressed
by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. He was not able to come to our symposium in
1983, but in declining the invitation he wrote, in part,
As [with] most scientific ideas of Linus, his
idea of orthomolecularity has
its deeper philosophical meaning, which
involves the idea that the natural
condition is the most perfect one and cannot be
improved on. We can reach
the maximum of health and well-being by
guarding this natural condition,
maintaining it as far and as perfectly as we
message nicely summarizes the pages that follow.
P. Huemer, MD
A, Davidson, N: Structural Chemistry and Molecular Biology.
Francisco, Freeman, 1968.