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November 9, 1970

Communicating With the Public

Author Affiliations

From Metromedia Television, New York.

JAMA. 1970;214(6):1091-1094. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180060069012

Biomedical investigators and science writers are in quite different fields and spend their days doing entirely different things, but they have at least one interest in common. They are both concerned with the transmission of information about science to the public.

My involvement in the field grows out of a rather broad premise. I believe that in this imperfect but generally democratic society of ours, public understanding of scientific affairs is not a luxury, but a necessity. It has often been said that widespread awareness of the scientific, technological, and medical issues of our times is desirable because the public supplies much of the basic support for science and therefore has some right to know what it is supporting. But there is an even more important consideration: Only through an understanding of problems based on scientific and technological developments— from the ABM to the orally administered contraceptive to the research