Altman, Lawrence K. "Departing N.I.H. Chief Issues a Warning on Politics," New York Times,

 

Altman, Lawrence K. "Departing N.I.H. Chief Issues a Warning on Politics," New York Times,
20 June 1989, p. C3.

Director James Wyngaarden is stepping down, after Bush failed to renominate him. It is reported
here that he is warning scientists to beware of "politics." He suggests, "We are no longer in a
period of splendid isolation." He goes on to say that "Bureaucracy takes the fun out of research."

N.I.H. has a budget of $7.3 billion. That is Big Science. It is impossible to be that big without
being a political entity. What Wungaarden are echoing is the perceived new difficulties being
posed for science by such inquiries as Dingell's. He is, personally, scared that this sort of
Dingelling of science will continue and he wishes he could stop it.

One of the great disservices that may be done with the Baltimore case is that Baltimore may
score a political victory and all of science called to account because of it. Baltimore should be
no-one's hero.