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November 15, 1976

Medical Science and Human Goals

Author Affiliations

University of Missouri Medical Center Columbia

JAMA. 1976;236(20):2329. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270210055032

Professor Nossal is a prominent research director from Melbourne who, from a lifetime in politics, administration, and immunology, has gathered his most interesting anecdotes and personal insights relating to medical research. The author wanted to explain bioscience not to physicians but to nonscientists as a prescribed part of their education. He is concerned because communication between the medical scientist and the layman remains poor. Knowledge of scientific research can be personally enriching but, he said, "modern science has become very expensive, and the layman who supports it financially has a right to accurate information."

Nossal tells mostly of the Australian and British successes in medical research, explaining little of the recent politics and sciences of the United States. His rather slow, professorial style is excellent for teaching undergraduates who are accustomed to history and English but not to immunology. The better sections, reflecting his own work, deal with immunization, organ