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Letter on Tensegrity from Buckminster Fuller:
Section 5

At the time when Watson, Crick, and Wilkerson were engaged in the virology research which led to their discovery of the DNA-RNA tetrahelix, Dr. Klug at the Birbeck College of London University was studying the protein shell of the virus which housed the DNA-RNA.

At that time my geodesic domes were being installed all around the world and pictures of them were widely and frequently published. Dr. Klug's particular exploring of the structure of the protein shell of the virus was being conducted with X-ray diffraction photography. Dr. Klug wrote to me in America to tell me that the interpatterning of nodes of the protein shells of the virus seemed to resemble the patterns he observed in the published photographs of my geodesic structures. By the way, geodesics means "the most economical interrelationship between two or more events." Based upon my knowledge of the supreme structural quanta efficiency of the icosahedron as employing the least energy per volume of the three and only primitive structural systems in Universe: the tetrahedron, octahedron, and icosahedron, I decided that it was probable that nature would use the most voluminous and most energy economical structure to enclose the most precious design controlling of all regenerative biological life. I wrote back to Dr. Klug telling him that he would probably discover that the number of nodes of the protein shells would always be the frequency of the modular subdivision of the icosahedronal system sphere taken to its second power multiplied by ten plus the number two.

A few years later the virological scientists held the first world congress at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, U.S.A.

This was the last year in which the New York Herald-Tribune was published (it went on to be published abroad as an international edition).

The world virologist congress proceedings were published covering the whole first page of the New York Herald-Tribune. They published a number of the pictures of closest packed unit-radius spheres that I have included in this letter. Using my name, the world virologists announced that my formula of 10F2 + 2 had proven to be correct and that the D.N.A. or R.N.A. tetrahelix controlling of the designs of all biological organisms was indeed protectively enclosed within nature's most spacious and economically constructed icosahedronal geodesic spherical protein shell.

This very powerfully confirmed the strategies and effectiveness of the geodesic tensegrity scenario related to you in this letter.

A few years before the World Congress of Virologists at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, Dr. Klug moved from Birbeck College of London University to the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University. Not long after his move, the British Broadcasting Company planned to open a Channel Two. Channel One was all black and white and broadcast primarily within the British Isles. They planned Channel Two to cover Europe as well and to be in full color. They decided that their early Saturday evening was their most listened to and observed time. They decided to once a month have that hour devoted to science. They consulted with Dr. Klug at the Cavendish Laboratory as to what scientific subjects should be the first of that series and Dr. Klug recommended that the subject be Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic and synergetic geometry as the most visual scientific frontier subject. The B.B.C. program was filmed and successfully broadcast. A good bit of the program was filmed at the Cavendish Laboratory with Dr. Klug.

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Copyright 1999, Estate of Buckminster Fuller, all rights reserved.