Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Paul Berg Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Health Protection Agency.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Recombinant DNA Technologies and Researchers' Responsibilities, 1973-1980
11th October, 1974
Dear Professor Berg,
I have been studying the correspondence connected with the subject of hybrid plasmids, about which a number of us are concerned,
and I notice that in my letter to you of the 9th September I have stated the date of the Asilomar meeting, to which you invited
me, as the 27th February, 1975 This was of course an error, in that I omitted the starting date, that is, the 23rd February.
I am not quite clear about the form planned for this meeting. Perhaps you would be kind enough to let me have the relevant
As I feared, there was some pretty drastic editing of the Controversy programme on television, and this has aroused quite
a lot of dissatisfaction with the producer in the scientific community. However, as I pointed out in my letter of the 9th
September, we have no control over the editing. In the last analysis, I wonder whether programmes of this sort are useful,
unless the scientists who contribute to them agree on the form the editing should take. We believe that the BBC turned what
should have been an informed airing of a public issue into a piece of entertainment. This is, of course, a common complaint
with the media, especially with television.
With kind regards,
P.S. As you may know, an international committee was formed at the Tokyo meeting of the International Association of Microbiological
Societies in September this year, to monitor the hybrid plasmid field and to report back to the Executive Board of the IAMS,
I have been invited to be a member of this Committee and have accepted.