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Maxine Singer (b. 1931) is a leading molecular biologist and science advocate. She has made important contributions to the deciphering of the genetic code and to our understanding of RNA and DNA, the chemical elements of heredity. She helped organize the landmark Asilomar Conference in February 1975, at which scientists agreed to impose restrictions on the new and controversial science of recombinant DNA, and to develop a framework for removing these restrictions as knowledge of the science advanced. From 1988 to 2002, Singer was president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, a position in which she not only reinvigorated the Institution's scientific programs, but served as an effective champion of women in science, of improvements in science education, and of scientists who engage in public policy debates.
The Library of Congress Manuscript Division is the repository for the Maxine Singer Papers, which range from 1950 to 2004. The collection contains correspondence, lab notebooks, speeches, reports, published articles, clippings, drafts, and photographs.
As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has collaborated with the Library of Congress to digitize and make available over the World Wide Web a selection of the Maxine Singer Papers for use by educators and researchers. This site provides access to the portions of the Maxine Singer Papers of the Library of Congress that have been selected for digitization. Individuals interested in conducting research in the Maxine Singer Papers are invited to contact the Library of Congress.
This online Exhibit is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Singer's scientific career and professional life. It is divided into sections that focus on Singer's life and major scientific contributions. We suggest that new visitors begin with this exhibit, which includes a small selection of documents and visuals, organized within these sections. Each section begins with a "Background Narrative," which leads to "Documents" and "Visuals."
Visitors may access additional materials through Search on the navigation bar. They may also view the materials alphabetically or chronologically by choosing Browse on the navigation bar. Documents and visuals in these lists are arranged by format and then either alphabetically by title or chronologically.