Next | ToC | Prev

Conflict Between University of California San Francisco and Berkeley

HEFNER: Did you know about the issue of treating patients over at UCB? UCSF really wanted all the patients treated over at UCSF.
GOFMAN: That's what I think is part of [the] reason for the conflict between John [Lawrence] and Robert Stone-because John had his clinic right in the Donner Laboratory.
HEFNER: He even signed an agreement that no patients would be seen over at UCB, but yet they were.
GOFMAN: Oh, I didn't know that John had signed that agreement. The hell was violated out of that agreement, I could tell you. I got there in 1947; Hardin Jones and I met the summer before, during the year of my internship. He was enthusiastic to get me to come over there. I think I got the appointment because of Hardin Jones. I'd just arrived there at Berkeley in 1947. I talked to John, [who] said, "If you want to work in the clinic, we'd love to have you." So I did. I started out working every Friday, taking care of those patients. I never heard anything about a conflict at all, but we sure as hell were treating patients.
HEFNER: What did you think of Professor Jones?
GOFMAN: I thought very highly of Hardin Jones. He was a great facilitator of work. He's very bright, in the first place. Hardin's a guy who had golden hands in the laboratory. A superb investigator, but Hardin just seemed to enjoy meddling around in other people's work, rather than working himself.

I got him interested in the lipoprotein work we were doing. He did help some, but most[ly] he just wanted to facilitate things. We wrote some papers together; he's a damn smart guy. Totally up-and-up guy; you could trust him with everything. We did a lot of work together and I would say that, for me, Hardin Jones facilitated a hell of a lot of the things I got done, in every way-running interference in the university. And I had to run interference for John in the university, too.

That happened because I [had] some influence in the university, in a peculiar way, that had to do with Ernest Lawrence getting very excited about our heart disease work. He'd bring regents around, so the chairman of the board of regents thought I was the best thing since sliced bread, and things like that.

That group in San Francisco really wanted to kill the Berkeley operation in John Lawrence's hands. It was an ongoing thing. I remember working with Mrs. Hearst, who [was] a regent, to try offset some of these things. I met her through Ernest and John. We cooked up this thing to have a big celebration [for] the 20th anniversary of John's coming to campus, with a lot of fanfare. Mostly to offset this thing from San Francisco.

I was partisan to the Berkeley operation then, although I didn't know any of background of why they [were] jealous, except they were. A lot of crazy things there.

I was awarded the Gold Headed Cane, which was given to a senior medical student with the best promise of being a true physician: we get a cane with a gold head on it. Professor Kerr was the one who instituted this thing at UCSF, and I was a lecturer in the Medical Department.

But talk about jealousy! By 1952 or so, we'd gotten an awful lot of publicity nationally and internationally, in connection with the heart disease work. Professor Kerr called me up and said he wanted to see me. He came over to Berkeley to see me. [I] didn't know what he wanted. He said, "I had to talk to you about your work on the heart disease. You know, I'm the professor of medicine in [the] medical school and you're in my department." I said, "Yes, I know; I'm a lecturer in the Medical Department. My assistant professorship is here at Berkeley." He said, "You never checked with me about publishing your papers."

I said, "Of course not, Professor Kerr: we don't do that here. I don't check with John Lawrence, either, when I publish a paper, and it never has occurred to any of us to check with anybody." "Well," he said, "that's not how we do things." I said, "Well, what do you want to do? There is an easy solution, Professor: just remove my name from the medical school department affiliation, because I'm not going to check my work with anybody." He said, "Well, we don't have to be that drastic about it."

You know, that's crazy, just absolutely crazy. He should have been very happy we were doing the work. We got a lot of recognition for the University of California. Here he was, this was a totally separate battle from John Lawrence's battle, but he left and we never checked any papers with Professor Kerr.

I did [a] number of collaborative studies with other people in the Department of Medicine and published with them, Felix Kolb, [and] Alex Simon in Psychiatry. So there were these antagonisms, and you know, it was an antagonism that was bred out of this thing. The first-year [curriculum] of the medical school was in Berkeley. The second, third, and fourth years were in San Francisco. Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry were all in Berkeley. In the 1950s, there was a debate [about whether] the whole medical school [should] move to Berkeley, or should the first year move to San Francisco. The San Francisco people-I think largely the entrenched doctors in San Francisco-won, and the first year moved to San Francisco. I think they still thought that anything that had to do with humans belonged to them. They were jealous of our work and jealous of John's work separately.
HEFNER: You also worked with Cornelius Tobias, [who] was in that department.
GOFMAN: He was, and I didn't work with him at all.
GOFMAN: Tobias and I were always friendly, but he was working on the radiobiological effect. I knew him, but we weren't close. I did a lot of work with Hardin Jones, but practically nothing with Tobias.
HEFNER: Okay, so is there anything else about how that group worked? How were you [a] part of the [Lawrence] Radiation Laboratory?
GOFMAN: When I came there in 1947, I had an assistant professorship in what is called the Division of Medical Physics, a branch in the Physics Department under Professor Raymond Birge. Our appointments were: 50 percent of our salary came from Rad Lab AEC funds and 50 percent was from the university. But it was understood that if anything were ever to happen to the Rad Lab Funds, the university would pick it up. I was in the Rad Lab.

Next | ToC | Prev
back to CNR | radiation | rat haus | Index | Search | tree