Chapter 10 : A Major Action 1978–79

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It being generally agreed that a registry containing the type and location of recombinant DNA experiments could be valuable and perhaps vital should unforeseen events give reality to any of the hypothetical dangers against which containment measures now loomed as overkill, National Institutes of Health (NIH) now maintained such a registry. Since 1973 substantial effort has been made to deal prudently with the concern that recombinant DNA experiments might prove hazardous. Experiments critical for realizing the practical and intellectual promise of recombinant DNA and for making risk assessments have been held up for months. The manner of the transformation of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), however, was profoundly threatening to more than one of the pioneers of Asilomar. The new RAC had been given a slight ideological cant to the left but had gained valuable expertise and met the secretary’s demand for broader ethnic and gender representation. The paradoxical paralysis had temporarily stranded this revolutionary opportunity in molecular biology.

Citation: Fredrickson D. 2001. A Major Action 1978–79, p 220-249. In The Recombinant DNA Controversy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818029.ch10
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