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Article
December 27, 1965

II. Comments

Author Affiliations

From the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco.

JAMA. 1965;194(13):1363. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090260023006
Abstract

The development of the Institute for Biomedical Research represents a return to the purposes, it seems to me, that were so clearly expressed in the founding of the American Medical Association in 1847—to improve the standards of medical training and of medical practice. We realize now as the founders did then that those standards are dependent upon verifiable information about ourselves and our environment.

That leads me to make a philosophical comment about Dr. Page, who is a pragmatist. He represents the best in skeptical scientific advance in biomedical affairs, recognizing always that the verifiable truth we may learn about ourselves and our environment is always tentative, always subject to revision, and ever to be approached in the spirit expressed by Professor Conklin many years ago: "Unwelcome truth is better than cherished error." It is the self-critical, self-corrective approach which has always been so characteristic of the medical advance that

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