Monday, October 18, 2010

Govindjee's Request to be Excused from this Dicussion : The Two-Pronged Question

In 2002, Govindjee and Don Bryant in support of Peggy Fischer's (NSF OIG) public letter, initiated the "BGM defense" for the Calvin cycle, the dark reaction in photosynthesis. 

An extensive debate ensued, in writing.  The debate involving Govindjee is seen on this blog as, Letters on the Calvin Cycle, Bacterial Carbon Reduction and Chlorophyll Photosynthesis."  That involving Bryant is shown on the post, A Historical Perspective : Letter of 10-13-10 communicating to John Deutch the Bryant Correspondence on the DBPP Rationale in Support of Renaming the Calvin Cycle

Because it's difficult for the author Francis K. Fong to understand why, if anything, Bryant and Govindjee would defend the dark photosynthesis concept, when Calvin et al by definitive experiments established the light carboxylation reaction, he believes that this debate maybe of historical importance.  Two distinguished scholars were engaged in debate with Fong, and the debate took place in the 21st Century, when communication takes place worldwide at lightening speed, when the dogmas of the Dark Ages were long a forgotten part of modern life.

On October 14, 2010, Govindjee wrote Fong a letter.  The subject reads, "My last request for removal of my name from these e-mails."  Govindjee's letter request and Fong's response are shown below.       

From: "Francis K. Fong"

Cc: "Robert L. Hunt Jr. (Rev. Agt)" ; "Larry Orr" ; "C. Austen Angell" ; ""Thomas A. Moore"" ; "Susan Brouillette" ; ""Steven C. Beering"" ; "Steve Ehmke" ; "Scott M. Kyrouac" ; "Robert Bauman" ; "Rena Girinakis" ; "Peggy Fischer" ; "Morgan_Frankel57" ; "Montgomery Fisher" ; ""Michael J. Fosmire"" ; "Mary Mortellaro" ; "LuAnn Canipe" ; "Lawrence Rudolph" ; "Kelly Lee" ; "Keith Luse" ; "Karen Sheely" ; ""James H. Brannon"" ; "Govindjee" ; ""Gerald Parshall Jr."" ; "George Tofaute" ; "France A. Cordova" ; ""Mark Wrighton"" ; "Douglas W. Snoeyenbos" ; "Donald A. Bryant" ; "Dale Margerum" ; "D. Patrick Mullarkey" ; "Bobby Hunt" ; "Bob Falk" ; "John Deutch" ; "Richard A. Posner" ; "G. Robert Blakey" ;
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: My last request for removal of my name from these e-mails


On my 10-13-10 post on the Letters Blog, "A Historical Perspective : Letter of 10-13-10 communicating to John Deutch the Bryant Correspondence on the DBPP Rationale in Support of Renaming the Calvin Cycle," I wrote,
"Govindjee and Bryant, a Distinguished Professor at Penn State, are co-authors of the BGM Defense in support of Peggy Fischer's Public Letter.  They espouse the concept by Kamen and Ruben dating back to the 1941, that 'if bacteria do it (carbon fixation) in the dark, then, maybe plants can also do it in the dark.' Only Govindjee and Bryant took the 'maybe' out of their equation for bacterial carbon fixation and plant photosynthesis. It's not clear if they understand that the plant chlorophyll and bacterial chlorophyll are not even the same molecule. Unlike the Chl a found in plants, BChl a is incapable of the water-splitting reaction shown in Fig. 1 of's Synopsis site. Govindjee, a plant physiologist, is slightly limited in chemistry background. He took a day or two to figure out the sign in the free energy equation for the emf; and measures the energy of photons, not in electron volts, but in emf units at pH7. But Bryant is well-equipped, being a chemistry major from MIT who should know better how to differentiate the biophotochemistry of bacterial organisms from that of green plants."  
You were responsible for Fischer's public letter addressed to some 400+ of your dark photosynthesis research colleagues. You boasted of some "78 resesearch mongraphs" on this subject. I think, instead of asking to be excused from this discussion, you need first to respond to the two-pronged question I posed earlier to France Cordova:
"(a) Is Fig. 2 of the Synopsis site on the photoreductive carbon path in photosynthesis correctly based on Calvin et al's C-14 experiments published in reputable journals? 
"(b) Did Calvin win the 1961 Chemistry Nobel Prize in Chemistry on the Calvin cycle in photosynthesis based on nothing more than the July 4, 1955, Chem. Eng. News story, a work of fiction released by Purdue instructor Dale Margerum?"

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Govindjee"
> To: "Francis K. Fong"
> Cc: "Klitzke, Doug" ; "G. Robert Blakey"
> ; "Richard A. Posner" ;
> ""John Deutch"" ; "Bob Falk" ; "Bobby
> Hunt" ; ""D. Patrick Mullarkey""
> ; "Dale Margerum" ;
> ""Donald A. Bryant"" ; ""Douglas W. Snoeyenbos""
> ; ""Mark Wrighton"" ;
> ""France A. Cordova"" ; "George Tofaute"
> ; ""Gerald Parshall Jr.""
> ; "Govindjee" ; ""James H. Brannon""
> ; "Karen Sheely" ; "Keith
> Luse" ; "Kelly Lee"
> ; "Lawrence Rudolph" ; "LuAnn
> Canipe" ; "Mary Mortellaro"
> ; ""Michael J. Fosmire""
> ; "Montgomery Fisher";
> "Morgan_Frankel57" ; "Peggy Fischer"
> ; "Rena Girinakis" ; "Robert
> Bauman" ; ""Scott M. Kyrouac""
> ; "Steve Ehmke" ;
> ""Steven C. Beering"" ; "Susan Brouillette"
> ; ""Thomas A. Moore""
> ; ""C. Austen Angell"" ; "Larry Orr"
> ; <"Robert L. Hunt Jr. "
> ">
> Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 12:43 PM
> Subject: My last request for removal of my name from these e-mails
>> Dear Dr. Fong:
>> I request removal of my name from this list right away. Through this note,
>> I am informing everyone that I had requested this long ago, and I continue
>> to receive these e-mails. I have now requested my e-mail system to send
>> e-mails coming to me from this and other related addresses to be
>> automatically sent to SPAM and be deleted.
>> Thank you,
>> Govindjee

>> Govindjee, Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Plant
>> Biology,University of Illinois, 265 Morrill Hall,MC-116, 505 South Goodwin
>> Avenue, Urbana,IL 61801-3707, USA; Telephone: 217-337-0627 (home);
>> 217-333-1794 (office); fax: 217-244-7246.
>> URL:

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