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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1994, Vol.14, No.3
Harold Varmus: Nobel Laureate at the NIH
What would it please him to accomplish?

"Certainly I'd feel good if, while I'm here, our work led to major discoveries that transformed our ability to treat diseases like AIDS and cancer, but I can't make that happen. I'd be happy if I brought in good people. I'd like to see an increased number of women and minorities in this game rising to the top of their profession. I'd like to see the NIH more involved in coordinating educational programs at all levels."
Meanwhile, Dr. Varmus wrestles with such hot issues as the legal patenting of DNA sequences and the ethics of fetal research and battles what he calls "the mighty paper flow of government bureaucracy."
"Science as a culture is fundamentally chaotic, ought to be chaotic," he says. "And, of course, government runs exactly the opposite way: It's all ordered." (Science, Nov. 26, 1993) That paradox provides something for him to ponder in traffic while preparing for other challenges, including-why not?-the Tour de France.

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