To the Editors of The Crimson:
I want to express my unqualified support for the President's recently announced suggestion that the University move forward into the genetic engineering business. Now, at last, we have a chance to complete the rout, begun in my own student days at Harvard, of comparative literature, fine arts, religion and all the other disciplines that cannot pay their own way with the overhead on federal grants and with profitable patents. Now, at last, we can be assured of continuing support for the many University administrators--in the style to which they have grown accustomed. Now, at last, this profitable enterprise will free the hard-pressed alumni, many with children to send to college, from the necessity of giving financial aid to their alma mater.
There is one problem, however. Considering the failure of so many technological applications of modern science (nuclear power, "Green Revolution" agriculture, computer-controlled military operations, etc.), money spent to develop the genetic engineering business must be considered high-risk capital. This risk is compounded by the threat that class-action and other civil liability suits pose to a self-insured institution, in the event of accidents, alleged accidents, or other unforeseen developments. The solution is not to abandon the noble genetic venture--rather, it is to diversify. What the University needs is a proven, highly profitable, depression-proof, low-technology business to act as a counterweight to its genetic engineering operation. This is standard practice for any multi-national corporation. May I respectfully suggest that an ideal business of this sort, and one entirely in keeping with the new spirit of the University, would be a chain of Harvard Whorehouses. Perhaps the first ones could be located along Route 128. David Ehrenfeld '59, M.D. '63