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Letter from Lloyd S. Etheredge to Joshua Lederberg

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THE POLICY SCIENCES CENTER, INC. YALE LAW SCHOOL, ROOM 2 16 YALE UNIVERSITY 127 WALL STREET, NEW HAVEN, CONN. 06520 CHAIRMAN: MYRES S. McDOUGAL VICE CHAIRMAN: Please reply to: 7106 Bells Mill Rd. W. MICHAEL REISMAN Bethesda, MD 20817 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: JEREMIAH B. McKENNA (301)-365-5241 (voice) (203) 432-l 993 (301)-657-4214 (fax) January 15, 1993 Dr. Joshua Lederberg Rockefeller University 1230 York Ave., Box 400 New York, NY 10021 Dear Dr. Lederberg: Recently, in your capacity as a Trustee of the Carnegie Corp. of NY, I wrote to you about our International Scientific Networks initiative. We wish to explore a novel approach to planning, which may be of special interest to Rockefeller University. We suggest building the designs of one or more of the prototype networks inductively, with leading researchers in each field of science specifying the components that will support the productive use of their own time (and for researchers in their labs) and might facilitate the international creative process related to their areas of inquiry. This approach involves, in effect, asking each senior research scientist to discuss the intellectual structure of their areas of work, the sociology of the invisible colleges in their field, and identifying the distinctive value that might be obtained by adding video capabilities and desktop systems, rebroadcasting existing research colloquia (e.g., would all research colloquia at Yale or Duke Medical Schools, or NIH, be valuable?), etc. This approach to planning might learn lessons from text-based computer conferencing, where issues of quality control emerge, and too much information of little or no value pours in. And this method of designing prototypes - knowing the names of who the system is trying to support, and the problems they are working on - allows us, in principle, to evaluate what we’re doing, and draw future lessons about the international creative process and how to improve the contribut

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