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Biology and the Future of Man

E. James Potchen, MD
JAMA. 1970;214(10):1891. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180100081031.
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What is basic science? How does it relate to modern medicine? More important, how can priorities in scientific endeavor affect the future of man? In an effort to answer these questions, the National Academy of Science, through its Committee on Science and Public Policy, undertook a massive statement-ofthe-arts survey which is condensed in this book. Dr. Handler, the current Academy president, edited contributions from 175 of the most illustrious names in American bioscience. Although the book is remarkably comprehensive, the interests of the chosen experts are apparent through the omission of other material that equally competent experts would have considered important.

Some aspects of basic science are covered in too great a depth to be comprehended by those unfamiliar with the field, whereas others are covered too superficially to provide useful material. The overall quality of the presentation is superb and, as best I can judge, the material is accurate.


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