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June 20, 1977

Research and Medical Practice: Their Interaction

JAMA. 1977;237(25):2757. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270520067034

Hard-core critics of bioscience often are ignorant of research procedures and of the utility of science in medical practice. Blind to the benefits of science, unaware of the many humane and cultural activities of the scientists, and unconcerned with precise evaluations of research projects or investigators, they cannot recognize fads or frivolities or distinguish these from the real bioscience. Before you argue with such critics again, have them read this agreeable book, study it yourself, and recommend it to everyone concerned with proper research. Twenty-eight contributors, mainly British but including six Americans, deal admirably with many subtle and recondite issues, while discussing three main topics: applied clinical research, basic biomedical research, and problems in medical care management. About half the 14 papers are excellent; the only tiresome parts are the discussion periods.

Bits or whole paragraphs are encouraging and quotable, as Dickinson's saying: "One may justify the existence, encouragement and