The Human Genome Project race didn't matter, Eric Lander

Interviewee: Eric Lander. Eric Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, talks about where he thinks media attention should have been focused. (DNAi Location: Genome > The Project > Players > Competition and the media > The race didn't matter)

I think the race didn't matter a great deal to the person on the street, because who did they care, and actually the whole notion of a race to sequence the human genome was nuts. There was no race to sequence the human genome. On the one hand you had a private company that was going to sequence the human genome and try to keep it secret. On the other hand you had a group giving it away. From our point of view we couldn't lose that race. The race was to make sure that information became available, and as long as we stuck to our guns and got that information out there, the race which was the race to make this information available, was going to be won. It was a nutty idea of a race, I mean it was a crazy business plan to think that, that you could take information like this and build a company around making that a proprietary asset. We all said that in 1998 when, when this had first been proposed, and at that point I don't know why, you know, the journalists didn't pick up on this and say what a crazy plan.

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