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December 19, 1966


JAMA. 1966;198(12):1303. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110250117034

Clinical medicine demands from the physician so much knowledge of practical matters that it leaves him little time for complexities of basic science. Well aware of this fact, editors of clinical journals face a dilemma: To publish or not to publish basic science material?

The dilemma is not new. Basic science communications always sought and often found admission to the printed page of a clinical journal. Never before, however, has their number been so large nor their content so complex. Scientific medicine no longer rests solely upon a foundation of the life sciences. Statistics, electronics, rheology, computer science, and other nonbiological disciplines have become an essential part of the medical foundation. Moreover, biology itself has acquired the added complexity of stratification. Not only is it divided vertically into conventional disciplines but also horizontally along planes of scientific preoccupation. We can discern four distinct levels: the molecular, the cellular, the level