Office of NIH History  
In Their Own Words: NIH Researchers Recall the Early Years of AIDS
 
Audio Transcript
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci
 
   
 
By changing the way that we do business at NIH, the constituency which has the disease for which you are scientifically responsible has some positive, productive, contributory input to some of the elements of how you do the science–not all, but some.

When the gay activists were demonstrating, predominantly against the FDA but also against the NIH, and being very strident in their criticism, I challenged them. I said, “Okay, come on in, sit down, and let's talk about it. What is it that you want?” That was when we developed relationships with them that are now very productive. We have activists who are important members of our advisory councils. We consult back and forth with them all the time. AIDS changed the way we do business at NIH in that, when appropriate, the constituencies play a major role in some of the policy and decision-making processes. You cannot just cave in and let people tell you how to do science the wrong way, but there is a lot you can learn from understanding how the disease is affecting a particular population, somewhat removed from the bench, and removed from the “ivory towers” that we have here.

 
     
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