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Letter from Richard L. Clinton to Joshua Lederberg

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  • Ecology
  • Economics


UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL Institute for Environmental Studies (919) 966-1175 June 13, 1975 Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514 Dr. Joshua Lederberg Kennedy Laboratory for Molecular Medicine Stanford University Stanford, California 94305 Dear Dr. Lederberg: We are writing on behalf of a university-wide study group of faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about something we think concerns us all. Many highly respected persons have stated that mankind faces a global crisis of un- precedented complexity, seriousness, and urgency; others insist that such views are unwarranted and could be counterproductive to reasonable solution of our problems. We are eager to learn the views of Nobel laureates on this issue. Do the problems of our age -- the threat of nuclear catastrophe, the energy crisis, the population explosion, mass poverty and hunger, ecological problems such as the potential deple- tion of the ozone layer -- really pose a serious threat to the survival of our civi- lization? Should we, to a much greater degree than we have done heretofore, channel our intellectual and physical resources to the attempt to ameliorate these problems? The opinions of Nobel laureates -- individuals recognized as among the most creative minds of the human race -- are of great interest to many throughout the world and will doubtless have a significant influence on their attitudes and actions. Hence it is our intent that the results of this inquiry -- your opinions -- be published and disseminated as widely as possible. The kinds of problems which prompt us to make this study were voiced by Secretary General Waldheim in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on April 9, 1974. In that speech he emphasized the need for a more equitable and workable global economic system, a system which takes into account not only the interests and needs of all nations but also the imperative interre- lationships of the sever

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