The Silent Elite: Biologists and the Shaping of Science Policy

  • Vijaya L. Melnick
  • Daniel Melnick

Abstract

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.”

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References and Notes

  1. 1.
    Iglehart, J. K., 1975, Health report/Congress expands capacity to contest executive policy, Nat. J. May 17:730–739.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Melnick, V., Melnick, D., and Fudenberg, H. H., 1976, Participation of biologists in the formulation of national science policy, Fed. Proc. 35:1957–62.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Etzioni, A., 1968, The Active Society, Free Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Etzioni, A., 1972, The Genetic Fix, Macmillan, New York.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berger, E., Jr., 1974, Health and health services in the United States, Ann. Int. Med. 80:645–650.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The eloquent essays of Lewis Thomas speak clearly to this issue: Thomas, L., 1974, The Lives of a Cell, Viking Press, New York.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Weinberg, A., 1974, Institutions and strategies in the planning of research, Minerva 12(1) January.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sub-Committee on Public Health and Environment, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, Hearings on the National Cancer Act Amendments-1974 (Committee Print, 1974).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Price, D. K., 1965, The Scientific Estate, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Culliton, B., 1974, National Research Act: Restores training bans fetal research, Science 187:47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Homer et al, Washington Post, 29 December, 1974.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Culliton, B., 1974, Science 185:426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations