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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Henry S. Reuss

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Rep. Henry S. Reuss House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations 2157 Rayburn House Office BuildinK Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Mr. Reuss: I appreciate your keeping me on your mailing list for news releases of the Research and Technical Program Subcommittee, like that dated for release Monday, Juzbg 20. I also have to say that I was crcatly disheartened by the substance of what I had to read particulafly in the light of my long term admiration for your liberal and statesman like policies that I observed during the many years that I lived in Madison, Wisconsin. I will not quaraal with you about the ‘urgency of conserving dollar exchange during a balance of payments nm~ge~cy. I do believe that many, perhaps even all, of the prcjects that you list by title in your news release are important to human welfare and that they had been screened for particularly critical review by scientifically competent panels taking account.of the more atriggtAtcrtt6c~6 that should be placed upon forei@ expenditures. frlnn is one species and there is a areat deal that can he learned about human welfare and the human condition to the best advantage by studies in other countries. I wonder if you have taken the trouble to inquire more closely into the scientific justifications for the projects that you listed by title. I have only very slight information on most of them but they do not strike me as worthy of the darision that you would invoke upon them. The real tragedy to which I would hope you would have addressed your energies is why we must be so poor that we have to adopt such 8trinEent criteria. It is in the nature of scientific enterprise that many projects are necessarily gambles and that one really important hit difficult to predict in advance can readily pay for all of the others. Of-mpoverished we cannot afford to spend funds on gambles of that kind. 3ut why are we so impoverished! Page 2 H, Reuss suly 26, 1968 I think you know the ans

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