As described in the Editorial1 I have also moved from avoiding dialog with activists (or reading their literature) to realizing that there are thoughtful protestors who are truly concerned with wider issues of biotechnology.

However, my first attempt to talk to a member of an activist organization, who was also a scientist, was not a happy one. All of us who were later to participate in a round-table discussion were having lunch. This person was most reasonable at lunchtime, and since he was a scientist working in a leading university, he did understand the science very well.

As soon as he sat down at the public round-table discussion, however, he put on his activist costume and none of us were able to recognize him any longer. This has happened to me several times: In private, I have found many reasonable and thoughtful activists who have immediately taken the confrontational...

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