Letters

I found Dilsaver’s and Coffman’s opinion column on funding for AIDS and psychiatric research (The Scientist, July 11, page 11) both provoking and disturbing. By inviting comparison, debate, and scrutiny between research agendas—perhaps in response to Frank Press’s call (The Scientist, May 30, page 1) to set research priorities within the scientific community—the article provokes useful discussion. Yet by misrepresenting the tragedy of AIDS and by misapprehendin

David Guston
Sep 4, 1988

I found Dilsaver’s and Coffman’s opinion column on funding for AIDS and psychiatric research (The Scientist, July 11, page 11) both provoking and disturbing. By inviting comparison, debate, and scrutiny between research agendas—perhaps in response to Frank Press’s call (The Scientist, May 30, page 1) to set research priorities within the scientific community—the article provokes useful discussion. Yet by misrepresenting the tragedy of AIDS and by misapprehending the role of biomedical research in national affairs, the article threatens to disturb the momentum and support for AIDS research and education. Dilsaver and Coffman diminish the tragedy of AIDS by claiming that it “afflicts only 65,000 Americans.” The true scope of AIDS in the United States is represented not by this official count of clinical AIDS but by the one to one and a half million infected by HIV. These numbers, of course, do not include the increasing...

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