Pauling’s growing reputation led in the spring of 1929 to the offer of a full professorship at Harvard, which Pauling then
used to advance himself at Caltech. The Caltech executive council quickly countered the Harvard offer by promoting Pauling
to associate professor (after only two years as an assistant professor), awarding him substantial pay raises over the coming
two years, support for a laboratory assistant, two more graduate students, and travel money for a European trip.
But Harvard remained serious. There was talk of building new courses in crystal structure and chemical physics around Pauling,
even creating a new department devoted to the young researcher's brand of what was now being called "quantum chemistry."
So Pauling visited, arriving in Cambridge for a week in early May 1929. He was treated royally, staying in the home of organic
chemist James Bryant Conant (who was soon to become president of Harvard), touring the new chemical laboratories, presenting seminars, and attending
receptions. He was twenty-eight years old and flattered by the attention, but he also found things-some big, some little-he
did not like. Whereas Caltech was becoming famous for allowing researchers a free hand to develop their own unique approaches
to science, at Harvard, Pauling found, subdisciplines such as organic chemistry and physical chemistry had ossified into separate
fiefdoms. There was a sense of backbiting and politicking and a hoarding of talent he did not like. A product of the egalitarian
American West, Pauling also received his first taste of eastern class snobbery. "Here was a society where there were a lot
of important people who were important just because of birth. They had money and stature not based on their own abilities,"
he remembered. "I thought I would be a sort of second-class citizen at Harvard."