The jockeying for position was delicately done: Pauling and Slater liked each other and respected each other's work. A few
weeks before either paper came out, Slater offered Pauling a full professorship at MIT in physics, chemistry, or any combination
of the two; in Pauling's "thanks but no thanks" reply (he had, by that time, been promised his own full professorship at Caltech),
he wrote Slater, "There is no theoretical physicist whose work interests me more than yours." After reading Pauling's JACS
paper, Slater wrote, "I am glad things worked out as they did, we both deciding simultaneously to write up our ideas. I haven't
had a chance to read yours in detail yet, but it looked at first sight as if we were in good agreement in general." Their
agreement was so good, in fact, that before Slater came to speak at a chemical-bond symposium Pauling arranged in Pasadena
for the summer of 1930, he cautioned Pauling, ". . . our general points of view seem so similar that we shall want to compare
notes before the meeting, to avoid saying the same things."
The two young men had hit upon the same approach to the same problems and would end up sharing credit for what would for a
time be awkwardly called the Heitler-London-Slater-Pauling (HLSP) theory of chemical bonding — later, more gracefully, the
valence-bond theory — with the consensus that Slater and Pauling had independently reached nearly the same conclusions at
almost exactly the same time.