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Letter from Terry Davies to Joshua Lederberg

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  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Ecology
  • Geography


NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL COMMISSION ON NATURAL RESOURCES 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D. C. 20418 ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES BOARD August 15, 1974 Dr. Joshua Lederberg Department of Genetics Stanford Medical School Stanford, California 94305 Dear Dr. Lederberg: I am writing to invite you to participate in a study that the National Research Council is undertaking at the request of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of the study is to examine and recommend improvements in the processes by which decisions are made regarding the regulation of chemicals posing environmental hazards. More specifically, the study will focus on the assessment of social benefits derived from chemicals, how to balance risks and benefits, and how the regulatory mechan- isms available for controlling chemicals affect the risk-benefit equation. A focus on these problems is considered by EPA as a next step in its efforts to develop a framework for making sound decisions as it carries out mandates to regulate hazardous chemicals and protect the environment. An earlier effort in these regards led to a study in 1973 under the aus- spices of NRC and directed by Dr. Norton Nelson of the New York University Medical School. That study focused on risk evaluation and was conducted as a one-week working conference in San Antonio, Texas. The report of the study is titled Principles of Evaluating Chemicals in the Environment and will be published late this year. The present study will be initiated with a two-day symposium on September 19-20, 1974 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The Symposium on Principles of Decision-making for Regulating Chemi- cals in the Environment is designed to explore the state of the art of decision-making, to reveal gaps in knowledge, and to decide if a more intensive effort such as a working conference can and should be structured to productively address additional issues. I invite you to attend the symp

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