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January 4, 1980

Political Realities and Biomedical Research

JAMA. 1980;243(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300270021022

AT a conference on the future of clinical research, a medical school dean dramatized the communication gap between the medical research community and federal government. He told the story of the reluctant rabbi who sheepishly tried to convince the Pope that some land in question belonged to the Jews. Since the rabbi spoke no Italian and the Pope no Hebrew, they were forced to negotiate in sign language.

After a while, the Pope became impressed with the rabbi's profound insight. But when the rabbi took out an apple in response to the Pope's bread and wine, the Holy Father was convinced. He turned to his followers, saying, "This rabbi is smarter than I.I reveal the body and blood of the Christ, and he takes out an apple, the symbol of life itself. The Jews may have the land."

The rabbi was greeted with incredible joy on his return to the