Joshua Lederberg studied bacteria and viruses from the viewpoint of transduction. Thus genes that convey virulence could be made more virulent or transferred to bacteria that did not normally act as disease vectors.
A subcommittee of the American Society of Microbiology was established at the beginning of World War II, but extended well beyond World War II. The purpose of this subcommittee was to review issues related to biological warfare. Of course, this is very legitimate. However, perhaps an unstated function was also the examination of research that might pertain to biological warfare: thus, censorship.
The following documents establish connections between Joshua Lederberg and Camp Detrick Biological Warfare research.
Regarding the report of the FAS committee on Biological Warfare
The focus of this letter is the use of agricultural pathogens which would not incur retroaction (retaliation or the use of biological weapons that could only be specifically targeted against a particular geographic or climatic area). Insofar as biological warfare might be targeted against humans, Joshua Lederberg states that the possibility of retaliation, as well as subsequent exclusion of military invasion, must be taken into account. Note that at no point does Joshua Lederberg raise any moral objections; in fact, he suggests that the public should be 'educated' to allay its fears of, and moral objections to, biological warfare.
Threonine on Population Changes and Virulence of Salmonella Typhimurium",
Camp Detrick, Frederick, MD, received for publication July 2, 1951
Joshua Lederberg's contract with Camp Detrick; work regarding mutagenic
agents that affect Amino acid levels
Recommend researchers to work at Camp Detrick
"Fort Detrick can help you a great deal on this (but don't
let the papers learn you have BW in on the rockets!)"
"Back-contamination and the goals of exobiological research."
Popular Mechanics, November 1962, p. 124
Educating the public on applications used in biological warfare research,
leveraged to prevent 'back-contamination' of the Earth as the result of
The memorial notes that Dr. Housewright proposed uses of Biological Warfare in Cuba