Record Group 64 - Faculty Collections

Elof Axel Carlson Collection

Record Group 64/34

Administrative Information     
Additional Archival Materials
Authored Books
Box and Folder List

Administrative Information  


Elof Axel Carlson Collection.


Elof Axel Carlson.


The collection was donated to the University Archives by Dr. Carlson in October 2010.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note

The collection is comprised of one cubic foot of files related to teaching activities and committee work at Stony Brook University, circa 1968 to 1980.

Biographical Sketch 

Elof Axel Carlson (b. July 15, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York) is a teacher of genetics and biology, a geneticist, and a historian of science.

He received his B.A. in 1953 from New York University and his Ph.D. in Zoology in 1958 from Indiana University where he studied under Hermann J. Muller. He became a lecturer in the Biology Department at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada from 1958-1960 and then both Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Zoology, University of California, Los Angeles (1960-1968).

In 1968, he joined the Department of Biology at Stony Brook University as full professor. He retired from Stony Brook on December 30, 2000 to become a full time writer.

Dr. Carlson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the Harbison Award (from the Danforth Foundation) for gifted teaching, and the first recipient of the SUNY title of Distinguished Teaching Professor at Stony Brook University (1974).

Sources: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the personal website of Elof Axel Carlson.

Arrangement and Processing Note

The collection is arranged in the in which it was received. The collection was processed by Kristen J. Nyitray, Associate Librarian/Head of Special Collections and University Archives/University Archivist and Lynn Toscano, Assistant Head, Special Collections and University Archives, and Danielle Driscoll, student assistant.
Website by Kristen J. Nyitray.



Restrictions on Access

The collection is open to researchers; one file in box 3 is restricted.

Ownership and Literary Rights

Stony Brook University Libraries.

Preferred Citation
[Item], [Box], Elof Axel Carlson Collection, University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Additional Archival Materials

The Elof Carlson Collection at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is comprised of personal and professional material accrued by Dr. Carlson primarily during his professional academic career from 1958-2000.

Authored Books

  • Carlson, Elof A. The Gene: A Critical History. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1966.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Gene Theory. Belmont, California: Dickenson Publishing Company, 1967.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Modern Biology: Its Conceptual Foundations. New York: G. Braziller, 1967.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Hermann Joseph Muller, December 21, 1890-April 5, 1967: A Memorial Tribute in Words and Pictures. Bloomington, 1968.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Gentheorie. Stuttgart: G. Fischer, 1971.
  • Muller, H J, and Elof A. Carlson. The Modern Concept of Nature. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1973.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Congress of Genetics: The University of California, Berkeley, August 20-29, 1973 and the University of California, Davis, August 24, 1973. Austin, Tex: Genetics Society of America, 1974.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Genes, Radiation, and Society: The Life and Work of H.J. Muller. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Human Genetics. Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath, 1984.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Instructor's Manual for Human Genetics. Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath, 1984.
  • Demerec, M, B P. Kaufmann, and Elof A. Carlson. Drosophila Guide: Introduction to the Genetics and Cytology of Drosophila Melanogaster. Washington, D.C: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1986.
  • Carlson, Elof A. The Unfit: A History of a Bad Idea. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2001.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Mendel's Legacy: The Origin of Classical Genetics. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2004.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Times of Triumph, Times of Doubt: Science and the Battle for Public Trust. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2006.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Neither Gods nor Beasts: How Science Is Changing Who We Think We Are. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2008.
  • Carlson, Elof A. Mutation: The History of an Idea from Darwin to Genomics. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2011.
  • Carlson, Elof A. The 7 Sexes: Biology of Sex Determination. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013.

Box and Folder List

Box 1

  • Center for Religion and Society (1968-1973) (4 folders)
  • "Biology Teaching and The Development of Learning: A Workshop" (co-author, Elof Axel Carlson, University of California, Berkeley, 1975)
  • commencement (May 1975)
  • dedication of the Life Sciences Building (May 21, 1976)
  • State University of New York at Stony Brook: organization hierarchies (1974–1975)

Box 2

  • university curriculum and educational policy committee (1976)
  • student life committee (1977-1978)
  • student life (1977–1978)
  • student life: minutes and correspondence (1978–1979)
  • Social and Ethics Issues in the Life Sciences (SEILS) (1979)
  • Social and Ethics Issues in the Life Sciences (SEILS 487) (1980)
  • task force: large classes (1979)
  • Federated Learning Communities (new course) (1976-1979) (2 folders)

Box 3

  • Danforth Associate Program, Danforth Foundation (3 folders) (1977–1979)
  • Danforth, Social and Ethics Issues in the Life Sciences (1979)
  • distinguished professor, long-range planning meeting
  • 24 hour study center
  • Biology 401 (Fall 1979)
  • LILLY workshop (1980)
  • undergraduate dean search (1980-1981) (includes some restricted content)
  • Biology 101: organization (1980)
  • Biology 102: teaching assistants, first meeting (1980)
  • Sigma Beta address (1980)
  • department of biology: undergraduate teaching reorganization (1980)
  • global education (1980)
  • education and teaching policy committee (1975)
  • education and teaching policy committee members (1975–1976)