The Silent Elite: Biologists and the Shaping of Science Policy

  • Vijaya L. Melnick
  • Daniel Melnick


In recent years the number of issues addressed by Congress which involve biological science has been growing almost as rapidly as the participation of the federal government in the support of biomedical research. However, the professional congressional staff includes few, if any, individuals with biomedical research backgrounds (although some physicians are included). Iglehart1 recently wrote, “Only six years ago, the number of professional staff members on the four House and Senate authorizing committees and two appropriations subcommittees that write virtually all federal health legislation could be counted on one hand. Now, these staff number 26 professionals and still are growing.” He also pointed out, “Ironically, many of the new staff members have come from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), where their activist instincts have been turned off by the go-slow policies of the Nixon and Ford Administrations.”


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References and Notes

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vijaya L. Melnick
    • 1
  • Daniel Melnick
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of the District of ColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Government DivisionCongressional Research Service, Library of CongressUSA

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