[Photosynthesis] Role of Dean Burk in the Warburg-Emerson Controversy on 'Quantum Yield'

Govindjee gov at uiuc.edu
Mon Sep 5 23:59:23 EST 2005

Dear Photosynthetikers:

If you know about the 'Quantum Yield' controversy between Otto Warburg and
Robert Emerson, you may have some interest in this e-mail.

Dr. Kaerin Nickelsen (of Switzerland) and I are hoping to look at the
data/measurements of  maximum quantum yield of oxygen evolution  during
Warburg’s visit (1948-1949) to Urbana.  I am seeking your help to obtain
information on the role of Dean Burk after Bob Emerson and Otto Warburg
could not resolve their differences in these maximum quantum yield
measurements.  There seems to have been a ‘Panel Discussion’, a “Debate”,
“Hearing” or whatever, after Warburg had been in Urbana (1948-1949). I
want to know about its details: from its inception to the end.

Where was it held? I have heard from someone that Dean Burk was chosen to
be the “judge” or “impartial scientist” for it. Is this true? If so, who
chose him? Or, how did he get in there? Do you know of any write-up on
this? Published story? Any source you can think of? Who would know?
Anyhow, anything you can tell me about the role of ‘Dean Burk’ in this
discussion will be much appreciated.We, of course, know all the papers on
the ‘quantum yield’ including those of Burk.

Hoping to hear from you soon,

gov at life.uiuc.edu

Mailing address: (Office)Govindjee, Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry,
Biophysics and Plant Biology, Department of Plant Biology, University of
Illinois, 265 Morrill Hall,MC-116, 505 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana,IL
61801-3707, USA
(Home) 2401 South Boudreau, Urbana,IL 61801-6655, USA

Telephones: 217-337-0627 (home); 217-333-1794 (office); fax: 217-244-7246
E-mail: gov at life.uiuc.edu and govindjee2002 at yahoo.com;
URL: http://www.life.uiuc.edu/govindjee

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