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in the area of biomedical development. I would like to invite you to appear to testify on the questions listed below for the purpose of informing the Subcommittee members of your agency's activities in this most important area of national concern. In addition to a definitive statement concerning programs and plans being carried out by your agency, I would appreciate it if you would address yourself to the following:

(1) Is there a need for additional attention by federal agencies in the field of biomedical development and application ?

(2) What means are employed by your agency to establish research priorities and long-range research plans?

(3) How do you evaluate and maintain a continuing examination of on-going projects and programs?

(4) What means does your agency use to maintain adequate communication with scientists and engineers in the field of biomedical development and applications as well as with medical practitioners and hospitals? Are they adequate?

(5) What procedures to translate results of biomedical research into actual treatment and care of patients do you employ?

(61 What further steps might be taken by government agencies to bring about more biomedical development without diminishing basic research

and without disorienting institutions involved in basic research. I am scheduling your appearance before the Subcommittee on

in Room 3302 New Senate Office Building, as agreed upon by telephone with a member of my staff.

Please send the Subcommittee 75 copies of your prepared statement by at least one week prior to the hearing so that we might have sufficient opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the details of your testimony and distribute other copies to the members and staff and to the press.

I appreciate your acceptance of my invitation to appear before the Subcommittee. I look forward to seeing you at that time and getting your thoughts and comments on these most important questions. Should you have additional questions, please call Dr. Steven Ebbin, Staff Director of the Subcommittee at 180–2125, or Dr. Joe Meyer at 180–2168. Warm personal regards. Sincerely,

FRED R. HARRIS, Chairman.



January 24, 1967.



Thank you very much for accepting the invitation of the Subcommittee on Government Research to testify on questions of the adequacy of federal institutions for biomedical development. The hearings will be held on February 28, March 1, 2, 3 and 16 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 3302 New Senate Office Building.

In addition to yourself and other witnesses from the private sector, several agencies of the federal government concerned with the health and welfare of our nation will also testify on their activities in the field of biomedical development and application. Specifically, the questions the Subcommittee has posed for consideration are as follows:

(1) Is there a need for additional attention by federal agencies in the field of biomedical development?

(2) An evaluation of existing federal procedures for the establishment of research priorities and long-range plans in the field of biomedicine.

(3) Are existing techniques for implementing plans and priorities adequate? If not, what suggestions do you have for improving them?

(4) An evaluation of existing means of communications between the scientific community (research scientists, engineers, medical practitioners, and hospitals) and federal agencies concerned with biomedical research.

(5) Are new, or additional, federal institutions needed to further development and applications of biomedical knowledge? I would appreciate receiving from you 75 copies of your prepared statement by at least one week prior to the hearing so that we might have sufficient opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the details of your testimony and distribute other copies to the members and staff of the Subcommittee and to the press.

I would also appreciate receiving a copy of your curriculum vita which I might place in the Record just prior to your testimony.

I look forward to seeing you at that time and getting your best thoughts and comments on these most important questions. Should you have additional questions, please call Dr. Steven Ebbin, Staff Director of the Subcommittee, 202–2252125, or Dr. Joe Meyer at 202-225–2168. Warm personal regards. Sincerely,

FRED R. HARRIS, Chairman. Senator HARRIS. We will begin this morning with Dr. Joshua Lederberg, chairman of the department of genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif., who received his Ph.D. in 1947 in the field of genetics. He received the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for research genetics of bacteria in 1958. Dr. Lederberg, we are very pleased you are here. You may proceed in your own way.

Without objection, we will place a brief biographical sketch concerning Dr. Lederberg in the record at this point.

Biographical Sketch: Dr. Joshua Lederberg Chairman, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, and

director, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Molecular, Palo Alto, Calif., Ph. D. 1947,

Field : Genetics. Background data: Recipient Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, for research

genetics of bacteria, 1958.



Dr. LEDERBERG. Thank you, Senator Harris.

Before I proceed to my formal statement, I would like to remark that I found the process of responding to your challenge a very educational one in itself. I hope that the hearings themselves will further continue my education. I want to make it clear I don't feel possessed of the unique knowledge of how to deal with these very complicated problems. I feel that many scientists might profit in sharpening their thinking, if they were to face the kind of responsibility that you have given us in initiating these hearings.

This will be a continuing dialogue. We don't have all the answers to start with. I think we may get better ones as we come along.

I might also remark that of the wide number of subjects and it is a rather broad ranging introductory document that I have prepared here—I realized that our programs for viral vaccines occupied such a central role in the operational programs, that for public health purposes they can have a tremendous payoff. On the other hand, it is an area of great conceivable hazard, an area of great scientific uncertainty with respect to many of the fundamentals. I would just like to sensitize you to this, not only in regard to my own statement, but those who might follow, as one that does deserve the closest serutiny.

This is a rather detailed document. I will proceed to read it.

Senator Harris, I know you will understand why I address these remarks to President Johnson, as well as to you. Last summer, Mr. Johnson gave the most urgent expression to the social concern for the

underlying motive behind Government support of scientific research. He did not invent this concern. As soon as tax-supported research funding approached the billion dollar mark a few years ago, the support of science inevitably became a major issue of public policy, deserving the closest scrutiny. To ask questions, why should we support research, and how shall we find the appropriate balance between basic science and its technological application, is an important responsibility of our political leadership. These questions are answerable, but it is hard to give simple, monolithic answers to issues that are quite central to our very culture.

With the growth of the science budget, the past few years have, however, seen a regression from an atmosphere of mutual trust to one of administrative stringency and suspicion in the relations of Government and science. Therefore, many of my colleagues in basic research are very nearly panicked at the atmosphere in which such questions appear to arise now. At the same time our political system is under extraordinary stress. There is great fear that the allocation of a level of support whose growth is reaching a plateau will become more and more deeply involved with the political expediencies of our constitutional system, to the disparagement of the intellectual merit of individual researchers and their projects. A few years ago, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation were proud to say that the excellent investigator was the focus of their support. Now, in a strict interpretation of the law, the focus is on the isolated project, a shift that has brought many fussy complications and contradictions requiring meticulous planning of the unknowable. We do have tangible fears that an overenthusiastic insistence on demonstrating social justifications of individual projects may do little benefit for social aims, but may enmesh us in a bureaucratic system for policing these justifications whose cost far outweighs the benefits. Worst of all, it may finally kill the spirit of free enquiry that has underlain a new renaissance of basic science in the last generation.

The recognition of basic scientific research as one of the major expressions of the aspirations of Western culture is a milestone in human intellectual history. It represents for American achievement a movement no less creative than the renaissance of the arts was for Europe after the Middle Ages. Starting with physics and chemistry, the wave of scientific insight has reached biology and medicine, and is beginning to enrich our outlook into the most important aspects of human personality. Medical research is a major branch of this movement: specific applications to disease problems rest on man's fundamental understanding of his own nature and his relation to the universe.

The scope and pattern of social support of science in the United States are the envy of the rest of the world. What else is the "brain drain” but a manifestation of our extraordinary environment for intellectual expression of the most qualified minds? We certainly have every cause for pride in the technological superstructure that we have built on this base, whether in medicine or in civil technology, and it has also given us unexampled power and with it as much security as that kind of power can purchase in the world. That superstructure does, indeed, depend in part on the factual knowledge gained by our own pursuit of science. However, such facts do not remain proprietary to one country, and therefore will not alone account for our technical and economic supremacy. This, I believe, comes from the pervasive education that is a constant companion of basic research; our administrators and engineers share with our scientists the experience and confidence of a realistic, analytical approach to nature, to problems solving as a basic outlook on the world for which published research in an environment of free criticism is the indispensable example.

As a delegate from academic science. I am therefore truly grateful to Senator Harris and his committee for the opportunity to participate in a new dialog between science and Government. We feel deeply frustrated that our message has, seemingly, not been understood; perhaps we have been too busy in the laboratory and not given enough attention to this essential political communication about our purposes. We have tried to teach the substance and purposes of science to our students at the universities. But we know this moves very rapidly, and it is not surprising that many of our findings are couched in such a specialized language that it is hard for our voting citizenry to understand the same material that is a daily commonplace in the high school syllabus. I have been delighted to write on science for a Washington newspaper and to discover a lively reaction; but I have been chastened that another metropolitan newspaper editor found the same material too "lofty" for his own comprehension. I do not know the best answers to this problem, but we are beginning to recognize its gravity. I can only plead with our political leaders to move very cautiously, not to overturn or starve out an existed proven system of enormous scientific productivity, until we have had a chance to discover our motives in terms that can be fully entertained by the democratic process:

These hearings will not be the final answer to our problem: they can only be a first step. I look forward to them as an important educational experience, and I mean for me and my colleagues no less than for you and your constitutents. The scientist is not necessarily the best judge of the social utility of his own work, or that of science in general. His motives in doing research are irrelevant to the consequences of his work for the community. In fact, it is fair to say that society exploits the poetic fascination that motivates many academic scientists, erentually capitalizing on applications that no one could have foreseen. It may even be an undesirable distraction to its rigor and sharpness of focus for the research worker himself to be too sensitive to the unpredictable implications of his own work.

It is important, however, that such utilities be discovered as soon as they can be useful; but this is a function of a whole community of basic and applied scientific effort. To place the burden of such justification on individual projects would be the surest possible way of stifling the most creative, the least predictable advances in scientific understanding. It would be rewarding to expose some tangible examples of the interweaving of unexpectedly interrelevant bits of knowledge. The theme is a familiar one, and I will leave it to better journalists

a than I am to document the examples in more detail. Some well-known chapters might be headed "mental retardation and veast metabolism," “mongolism and wheat breeding," "tuberculosis, streptomycin, and soil ecology," "viruses and television electronics." From my own experience, I do not know any scientific or technical advance of any importance that did not make utterly unexpected demands on knowledge from

unpredictable sources. We ask, “How shall we cure cancer or prevent monogolism?” Immediately we realize how much fundamental biology we still do not know, the more elusive because we are beginning to understand the magnitude of the problem.

This is all preface, and the statesman might reply: "I have heard all this before, and I might almost be willing to believe it. Nevertheless, to paraphrase Mr. Johnson, are we making the most effective allocation of our resources for the public good? Are we doing all we can to 'make sure that no lifesaving discovery is locked up in the laboratory'? How can we achieve the most constructive 'payoffs in terms of healthy lives for our citizens'?" If we can reach these questions in an atmosphere of sober inquiry, and allay any mistrust that they might be intended to undercut the support of basic science, we will have reached the most important purposes of these hearings, and of the continuing dialogue that should follow.

These are questions of technological development, not of basic science, though these functions are profoundly interconnected. Many discoveries in physical science have resulted in practical utilities rather quickly; it took only 6 years from the first observation of nuclear fission to proving how to make the earth uninhabitable, and hardly longer to go from the principle of the transistor to portable TV. Can we not emulate such rapid progress in the health field? What are some of the difficulties and challenges in the health field? Can we also foresee some of the stressful and unwanted side effects of some branches of health technology!

May I first comment on some of the difficulties and obstacles. Some of them are unfair burdens to place uniquely on biomedical science when they reach some of our most pervasive social problems. Nor can we consider the manipulation of human nature in a vacuum that ignores religious and political controversy about its proper bounds and some of the most poignant ethical and moral concerns for life and death. We are charged to comment on obstacles to the utilization of scientific knowledge for the individual and social good. Some of us have read into this charge the implication that as scientists we might be diverted from the laboratory to implement social change, more bluntly that our science budgets should be divided to help pay for these applications. I hope this is an obvious absurdity; but our concern for an absurd implication should not deter scientists from displaying any insight they can muster to help show what should be done.

The homeliest examples may be the most instructive. It takes very little biological science to know that babies who do not get enough to eat are unlikely to develop into healthy, socially well-adjusted and economically productive adults. Throughout the world—and still even in this country—there are at least a few children who are not getting the benefit of this scientific information, because their parents can't afford it. As important as I believe the furtherance of basic science to be, if I had to choose between it and the applied science of feeding hungry children, I would choose the latter. But I would also ask why that particular choice was obligatory; why is it not made over a wider range of priorities?

Only a question of scale distinguishes this question from many others of economic allocation. Some hundreds of patients with kidney disease are still dying each year essentially because they can't afford an

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