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Scientific Research Post 9-11

This article is more than 17 years old.

From its very first days, scientific inquiry has revolved around curiosity. Scientists follow their intellects and probe and test and hypothesize, and every once in a while make a big discovery. World War II and the Manhattan Project introduced the idea of applied scientific research to the world — the idea that scientific research should be results-oriented and geared towards solving a specific social, political, or biological problem. Our guest this hour, Siddhartha Mukherjee, argues that after September 11th, "it's tempting to think of curiosity-driven science as an anachronistic luxury." But the applied science model is flawed, he says. It puts scientific decision-making powers in the hands of politicians and often leads to important areas of research being neglected. This hour: the perhaps-skewed priorities of scientific research post-9/11.

Guests:

Siddhartha Mukherjee, medical resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School;
Maxine Singer, President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington

This program aired on January 21, 2002. The audio for this program is not available.

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