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I got some friendly advice from a man who was.. running the
National Institutes of Health.
He called me into his spacious office ....
"This work you've been publishing on cancer patterns is
pretty interesting. You know, I started out my career
interested in the environment and cancer.
I'm pretty sure that some of the lung cancer we see in women
in southwestern Pennsylvania, where you come from, has
something to do with the environment.
I actually tried to do a study on that when I started out
doing research, but I decided against it."
"What made you change your mind?" I asked.
He leaned back in his chair and put his hands atop the back
of his head, rocking in thought.
"You ever hear of Wilhelm Hueper?"
I shook my head.
"Hueper started out like you.
Lots of good ideas about the environment. He thought the
exclusive focus on smoking would lead us away from other
causes of cancer that were far more deadly.
He was railroaded out of here. He wasn't the easiest fellow
to work with and rubbed lots of people the wrong way,
but not necessarily for the wrong reasons.
I decided after seeing what happened to him that I was better
off sticking to basic research.
Somebody like you should think about that."
I did. I stayed with NAS for a decade, . . .