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The Maxine Singer Papers

Letter from Maxine Singer to C. G. Bernhard pdf (68,943 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Maxine Singer to C. G. Bernhard
In this letter, Singer described the depth of her engagement in the recombinant DNA debate and the toll the large amount of time she was spending on matters of science policy had taken on her own research. Singer was involved in recombinant DNA policy for much of the ten years between 1973 and 1983.
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1 (68,943 Bytes)
1977-07-05 (July 5, 1977)
Singer, Maxine
Bernhard, C. G.
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Original Repository: Library of Congress. Maxine Singer Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Library of Congress.
Exhibit Category:
Risk, Regulation, and Scientific Citizenship: The Controversy over Recombinant DNA Research
Box Number: 35
Folder Number: 2
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Recombinant DNA File, 1972-1980, n.d.
SubSeries: Binders
Folder: No. 10, 1977 May-June
July 5, 1977
Dear Professor Bernhard :
Thank you very much for the honor of the invitation to participate in the Nobel Symposium on "Ethics for Science Policy" to be held in Stockholm, August 20-25, 1978. It would indeed be a privilege to join in the distinguished program you are planning. Therefore I am very sorry to write and say that I am unable to accept the invitation. There are two primary reasons for this, and they are related. During the past several years I have spent a great deal of time with the recombinant DNA problem in the United States. When I started these activities in 1973 I did not imagine, nor did I intend, that they would become so demanding of my time. In fact my own research has suffered a great deal and more importantly, the young post-doctoral fellows in my laboratory have missed the attention that they both expect and deserve. That is one reason that I am trying hard to curtail my activities in this regard. The second reason is that while I have certainly learned a great deal about the relation of scientists to the rest of society, it has all been in the limited context of the recombinant DNA debate. I have not given a great deal of thought to the more general aspects of the problem. Thus I could not make a substantial contribution to what will clearly be a most scholarly discussion of these problems.
Thank you again for the invitation and please accept my best wishes for the success of the Symposium.
Sincerely yours,
Maxine Singer, Ph.D.
Head, Nucleic Acid Enzymology Section
Laboratory of Biochemistry
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