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The Paul Berg Papers

Letter from Daniel M. Singer to NIH Study Section members pdf (123,286 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Daniel M. Singer to NIH Study Section members
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (123,286 Bytes)
1970-01-09 (January 9, 1970)
Singer, Daniel M.
Strasser, Spiegelberg, Fried, Frank & Kampelman
Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Paul Berg Papers
Reproduced with permission of Daniel M. Singer.
Exhibit Category:
Protein Synthesis, Tumor Viruses, and Recombinant DNA, 1959-1975
Metadata Record Letter from Daniel M. Singer to Paul Berg (January 12, 1970) pdf (36,642 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Paul Berg to Daniel M. Singer (January 19, 1970) pdf (56,518 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Daniel M. Singer to Paul Berg (January 21, 1970) pdf (119,178 Bytes) transcript of pdf
For enclosure see:
Metadata Record HEW press release on the selection and appointment of advisors and consultants (January 2, 1970) pdf (116,139 Bytes) transcript of pdf
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Letters (correspondence)
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January 9, 1970
I am writing to you, as a member of an NIH Study Section, on a matter of concern to both of us.
Over the last year and a half I have been concerned, personally and professionally, about HEW'S security clearance program as applied to appointees to bodies offering primarily technical advice on wholly unclassified matters (advisory councils, study sections, review committees and the like). In the newspapers this has now come to be known as the "blacklisting" problem. My professional involvement with this issue stems from my longstanding position as general counsel of the Federation of American Scientists and, more recently, my employment as special counsel for the American Orthopsychiatric Association. AOA, with the cooperation of several other organizations of scientists, took the lead in seeking abolition of the security program as applied to casual advisors. (See extract enclosed from Science, Jan. 9, 1970).
You are undoubtedly aware that, partly as a result of our efforts, HEW is now instituting what may be significant changes in the procedures and standards governing appointment of consultants and advisors to HEW constituent agencies. A copy of HEW's January 2, 1970 press release is enclosed. My particular present concern is the administration of the new policies with regard to appointments to NIH study sections. I believe it important promptly to take steps to assure that the promise and the performance are reasonably well-aligned. And that is where I believe that you could play a helpful role.
As a senior, well-informed member of the scientific community, you doubtless have acquired some knowledge (or at least a good hunch) about those of your scientific colleagues who may have been victims of HEW blacklisting practices. I have in mind individuals who, on the basis of professional standing and competence, might have been members of study sections but who, probably because of the blacklisting, were barred from such appointments.
One useful approach would be for you, at an appropriate time in the deliberations of your next study section meeting, to suggest for appointment one or more of these individuals. I recognize that present study section members do not, in a strict sense, appoint their successors, but it is my understanding that present members do have an informal role in suggesting to the executive secretary of the study section names of scientists who should be considered for appointment as vacancies occur.
If you wish to discuss the matter further, please telephone me. In any event, I would appreciate your letting me know what, if any, action you take; and if you do act, whether you are successful. However, since the matter is sensitive and private, there is no reasons for me to know the name of any person you may suggest for a study section appointment. You are entitled to know also that I am writing similar letters to several other members of various NIH study sections.
Many thanks for your help and concern.
Daniel M. Singer
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