In your article concerning the promotion of science (P. Gwynne, The Scientist, July 21, 1997, page 1), I find virtually nothing with which any good scientist, including members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), could disagree. I say "virtually" nothing, because I think that your article can be criticized for the impression created by several remarks concerning the late Carl Sagan and NAS. I have been a member of that body for more than 30 years and have participated actively in its meetings and governance. I doubt even if one member would be enough of a curmudgeon to deny that Sagan's activities to popularize science were brilliant and enormously valuable. That is why, as your writer mentioned, he was awarded the Public Welfare Medal, an honor no less prestigious than, though different from, election to membership.

I don't believe that it is fair to imply that...

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