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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Had you made any effort to get the Administration behind this bill?


The Administration was behind the bill, but only in a very mild way. Truman had many great merits, as you know, but he really wasn't deeply interested in science; it wasn't something that aroused his interest. He was, in general, in favor of it, but it wasn't anything that was a preoccupation of his. And it just didn't get done.


What did you do in trying to promote interest through the public press?


Well, the testimony was frequent in the press; that is, it was published in the press, but as there was dispute about it and as there was dispute about what would be the patent situation if the bill went through, there were just enough minor questions to snag it up. It finally passed, and it is now operating as of November, ‘62, at the rate of millions of dollars. I think it's around 200 million dollars. It's providing a very important resource for the generation of new ideas in science. It does give a small amount of money in the medical research field, but very little. The activity in that area is miniscule.

But, I'm proud that I had some tiny thing to do with the initiation of it.

However, when we saw there was grave difficulty about the

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