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December 9, 1988

Academic Scientists and the Pharmaceutical Induṡtry: Cooperative Research in Twentieth-Century America

Author Affiliations

Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Tufts University Boston

Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences Tufts University Boston


by John P. Swann, 249 pp, with illus, $32.50, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.

JAMA. 1988;260(22):3349. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410220133046

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While scientific collaboration between academia and industry is perhaps excessively discussed these days, this book is a welcome departure because it tackles, with great success, an unhackneyed topic: collaborative research between universities and the pharmaceutical industry in America during the period between the two world wars. It was a time critical for both sectors, when basic research was taking root in many institutions, and industry was building its own research base. Swann's account helps explain why this type of collaboration became taken for granted after World War II.

A fascinating parade of remarkable men marches through the pages of this book (women are hardly to be found; there are only two female names in the index): Ernest Volwiler of Abbott; Max Tishler, Karl Folkers, and Hans Molitor of Merck; George Harrop, Harry Van Dyke, and John F. Anderson of Squibb; John Krantz of Sharp and Dohme; and K. K. Chen