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December 27, 1965

I. Medical Research As I See It

Author Affiliations

From the Research Division, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

JAMA. 1965;194(13):1355-1362. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090260015005

The opening of a new Institute for Biomedical Research is a cause for rejoicing, chiefly, I think, because it reflects how advanced is the thinking of the medical profession. In my day the study of biological mechanisms was considered a bit daring, and some of you remember the Scopes trial as an example of the no-nonsense of that period. Then came microbiology and microbiologists, the latter I suppose being definable as "very little biologists." But we do not stop there. Now we have "molecular biologists" who, I assume, must be constituted chiefly of intramolecular space because molecules seem to have so little mass; they epitomize what is now called "space biology."

This brings us head on to one of the most difficult problems medicine now faces. What is all this research for? I heard a story from Dr. Burnett last summer in Hyannis Port that illustrates what I mean: A