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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 28, 2010 5:45am-7:00am EST

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carlson. >> harold vermis is the author of art and politics of science. tell us, how did you come up with the title? >> i knew a book that was simply given a scientific titles wouldn't be attractive and secondly as a scientist i know that science has its artistic features and strongly linked to politics. my own life has been engaged not only in science but in the arts and the politics of doing science, so what's interesting to most people about what i do is the way in which science is conducted and the way in which the political process influence science. i thought the public would enjoy
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reading about it. >> you went to airburst cow describe their transference from english major to scientist. >> is a complicated thing but i was originally going to be a doctor, went to college and fell in love with literature, started graduate school and became disenchanted with fact, went back to medical school and at the age of 28 was compelled by the vietnam war to provide government service which i did at the national institutes of health where i learned that researches even more exciting than medicine. then devoted my life to sign seven mack. >> what will fans of science learn about politics from reading your book and welfare is a politics learn about science? >> question. people who simply admire the scientific process will begin to realize how important and interesting and difficult the interface between science and the public cares and pays for it and congress that oversees a
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candy. those interested in politics will see a political action does influence the scientific process. science depends on wealthy people to a certain extent but depends much more heavily on the way the government supports and pays for science and as a political process we have to encounter directly whether stem cells research or thinking about how to improve the nation's health or simply providing funds for scientists of the nih and the national science foundation to do their work. >> you're book is laid out in four parts, becoming a scientist, doing science, political science, and continuing controversy is. why did you lay it out that way? >> the things people would care about, why are you a scientist, and, in fact, what i'm pointing out in that section is you don't have to thank you are a scientist from the third grade. you can have -- america is
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forgetting and allows a prolonged adolescence. i think people need to understand you pick a town in scientists in your late 20s. i wanted to devote to, how much to say about the science i have done, technically complicated and i didn't want to insult the audience by watering it down but i wanted to take a tried and follow it to looking at one aspect of my career that was frankly important because it led to a nobel prize and the discovery of genes and pouring in cancer. i wanted in that section to trace of both my own activities as a scientist and link fact to a very important social problem mainly can serve. then because in a sense there was a chronology to this i did most of my scientific work and not all before i became a government leader, i wanted to talk about being the director of nih, running a large agency, to
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do science with public money and explain what the complex are between society and science and how they get resolved. in the last section of the reason i moved those out was i wanted to spend time talking about how we publish our work, how the stem cell controversy arose, how we are approaching the development of science have better health and poor countries, and those became sector as essays that address in greater depth i could have done in the narrative, issues that all scientists must think about. >> your mom had breast cancer and i want you to tell how that influenced you as a researcher and scientist. >> certainly was an influence. i was at the nih working on the genetics of bacteria. i learned that model organisms like bacteria can to just about him in disease but also as a doctor and a son with a mother
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battling this is the use i wanted to feel it was somewhat more connected to the problem. i don't think that was the only reason, not that they chose to do work about cancer, but i saw an opportunity in my thinking about cancer as a problem mainly we didn't understand how a normal cell became a cancer cell and there were a couple new tools having to do with how we measure dna and rna, some with viruses that cause cancer in animals that led me to believe this huge medical problem that affected my family would be amenable to some solutions by taking advantage of these opportunities to do interesting science. >> this is based on lectures you gave in 2004 at the new york public library. tell us about those and how did they morph into the book? >> that's a fun question. a famous biographer friend o

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