Science Policy Committee Members Announced

A new University-wide committee on science policy held its first meeting Wednesday and officially announced its members yesterday, said committee chair and Provost Jerry R. Green.

The committee, which Green initially announced in August, will deal primarily with science at Harvard as it relates to the outside world, according to Green.

Green said the committee, the first of its kind at Harvard, will focus on the issue of institutional conflicts of interest, rather than individual cases of conflict of interest.

"[At] the first meeting yesterday...we simply discussed with them the interest the Corporation has with assessing Harvard science policy," he said.

Members from outside the Harvard science community include: Lewis M. Branscomb, Pratt public service professor at the Kennedy School; Robert B. Donin, university attorney; Michael Eisenson, managing partner of the Aeneas Group at the Harvard Management Company; Robert H. Scott, retiring vice president for science and Sarah Wald, assistant to the vice president for government, community and public affairs and to the vice president for administration.


Those from the scientific and technology sectors were: David Blumenthal '70, assistant professor of health policy and of medicine at the Medical School; Joyce M. Brinton, director of the office of technology and trademark licensing; Bernard N. Fields, chair of the department of microbiology and genetics at the Medical School; Edgar Haber, Blount professor of biological sciences at the School of Public Health; Richard M. Losick, professor of biology; Michael O. Rabin, Watson professor of computer science and Christopher T. Walsh '65, Kuhn professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology.

Green said he consulted a great deal with University administrators and others, including Corporation members, deans and vice presidents. "Our charge is to write a...paper for the Corporation about the underlying philosophy that should govern Harvard's relationship with outside corporations," he said. "We broke it down into issues about technology transfer, issues about the funding of science and issues about the exchange of scholars."

Committee members said, however, that specific discussion was put off until the next meeting, which will be in a few weeks.

"The real content isn't defined yet, so all anyone can talk about is the large issue," Fields said yesterday. "Whereindividual conflict of interest is looked at veryclosely and has a clear-cut set of rules,institutional conflict of interest is not lookedat very closely and doesn't have a clear-cut setof rules."

The group will also examine the stances theUniversity should take on such issues, Fieldssaid. "The main issue deals, with industrialpolicies for the University," he said.

Losick, chair of the Faculty of Arts andScience's (FAS) Committee on Professional Conduct,said his experience with conflict of interestpolicies mainly comes from the policies relatingto individuals that the FAS committee deals with.

He said, however, that he sees a few parallelsbetween individual and institutional policies.

"It's important, increasingly so for auniversity like Harvard, to have interaction withindustry. It's good for the community and it'sgood for industry," he said. "At the same time itposes some dangers for the University.