Original Repository: Stanford University Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives. Paul Berg Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Scripps Research Institute.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Recombinant DNA Technologies and Researchers' Responsibilities, 1973-1980
Letter from Paul Berg to Irving P. Crawford (December 9, 1974)
Letter from Irving P. Crawford to Paul Berg (February 6, 1975)
For enclosure see:
Letter from Irving P. Crawford to the editor of Genetics [ca. October 1974]
November 18, 1974
I enclose a copy of a letter to the editor of Genetics which will appear in the October issue of that journal. I hope it
does not sound superficial or denigrating to the important effect your committee had in awakening all scientists to a potential
hazard. Your efforts seem to me to have been resoundingly, perhaps embarrassingly successful. My letter's intention
is to suggest that we would do better to emulate the methods and safeguards used for known, natural pathogens rather than
to acquiesce to the construction of another bureaucratic thicket like the human research committees.
The letter was written in response to Dave Stadler's plea for something controversial or stimulating to put in the letters
section of Genetics. Thinking back to our conversations over the past year on this subject, as well as my own experiences
on our human research committee, this is what I came up with after a month or two of mulling over the matter and reading the
correspondence in Nature and Science. I have discussed the letter with many of the people in my department and in Experimental
Pathology here at Scripps. I found most to be in agreement with my main thesis, and I hope you will be too. If not, perhaps
we can agree to disagree amicably on the best approach to this problem.
Will enjoyed his weekend at Stanford very much, and now that football season is over he is busy completing his application
to go there next fall. There has never been any doubt that he prefers Stanford over any other school. I hope he was not too
much of a nuisance during his visit. I'm just sorry he couldn't have brought Stanford through to a win over USC!