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Letter from Joshua Lederberg to Russell Wiggins, Washington Post

Publication Date
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


May 17, 1966 Mr. Ruseel Wiggins Editor in Chief Washington Post Washington, D. C. Dear Mr. Wiggins: David Iiamburg called me after talking to Fir. Fleyer, to confirm our appointment for Friday afternoon, 4 p.m. He suggested I mail you come ex*lanatory material, and I hope this can reach you in time to be of help. I should explain some of the explanation. The article "Experimental Genetics and Human Evolution" was written for a rather technical audience and will appear in a centennial issue of "American Naturalist'; some of the jargon needs to be revised to make it legible to the 'Bulletin of Atomic Scientists'. I leave it now because it is a ratheer comprehensive statement of my most passionate concern8 about the impact of science, and can tell you something about the social and ethical platform of my thinking. I do not know when I would be ready to press some of the more detailed extrapolations (like my prophecy of vegetative reproduction). I would probably wait until some more concrete milestones were laid down in contemporary scientific progress and use these as they arise to support whatever Oommentary they validate. And of course the actual outcome of biomedical research, week by week, is quite unpredictable. The piece on the misinterpretatian of Mariner XV was written in the form of a letter to the editor, but should be reasonably typical of the style of writing I might use in the columns. tiowever, these should be much more casual, dealing with one small point at a time; the cumulative impact of such a series should stimulate more thoughtful debate than a few shrill yelps of anguish. Looking forward to meeting you, Sincerely yours, Joshua Lederberg Professor of Genetics JLPeif

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