Rolling The Credits

The Scientist, Nov. 15, 1993, page 12). This is also an immense problem for not-for-profit agencies such as the American Cancer Society. Our credibility largely depends upon reporting back to the American public the progress in cancer research that was made possible by their generous donations. The vast majority of research that we support is of a very fundamental nature and does not make headlines. However, some of it does--some of

Apr 18, 1994
John Laszlo
I was very pleased to read the Commentary urging scientists to give the National Institutes of Health proper credit for the funding of their research (S.C. Silverstein, et al., The Scientist, Nov. 15, 1993, page 12). This is also an immense problem for not-for-profit agencies such as the American Cancer Society. Our credibility largely depends upon reporting back to the American public the progress in cancer research that was made possible by their generous donations.

The vast majority of research that we support is of a very fundamental nature and does not make headlines. However, some of it does--some of our grantees win prestigious prizes and receive national, and even worldwide, publicity. When publicity is available, it's a golden opportunity to mention the sponsoring agency or agencies. We generally learn about these press conferences or other potential opportunities after they have passed. Admittedly, the press often ignores the supporting agency, even when it was properly listed at the bottom of the press release. Further, some scientific journals are ruthless in ignoring sponsorship when it comes to press conferences based on articles published in their own journals.

It is terribly important for us to pull together on these matters and to make plans for publicity and proper attribution before the article or the press conference is completed. If we want to encourage public support of research, this "nicety" must not be overlooked.

JOHN LASZLO
American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Rd., N.E.
Atlanta, Ga. 30329-4251