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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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science which were to be supported under the bill. Because some groups questioned the patent problems which would arise from such a foundation, this bill was held up for five years.

Q:

In what way?

Lasker:

Well, who would own the patents? People in industry? Would the individuals own the patents? Would the government own the patents? There were all kinds of fanny problems about patents which finally were resolved.

In the meantime, we had been helpful, as you know, in the Senate in pushing through the National Mental Health Institute bill in '46, had instigated and pushed the passage of the National Heart Institute bill in '48, and the passage of the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases and the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and B lindness in '49 in the House. These last two institutes were established in '50, as I've said, under the omnibus medical research bill in August of '50. Consequently, when the National Science Foundation bill finally passed in April of 1950, I was anxious that this bill, which established an independent agency in the government and which looked only to the President for direction, state specifically that its functions were not to interfere with the new institutes which had been established during the long five years that the Science Foundation bill had awaited passage.

I was not successful in getting the provisions written





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