Om Genetic Control of Environmental Polluta
Gilbert S. Omenn Dean, Public Health and Community Medicine University of Washington Seattle, Washington 98195 On behalf of the University of Washington, the City of Seattle, the sponsors and donors, and my co-organizers, I am delighted to welcome all of you to this Conference on Genetic Control of Environ- mental Pollutants. My only regret is that Dr. Alexander Hollaender, who has inspired so many of us as young scientists and stimulated so many trail-blazing conferences in environmental sciences and in gen- etic engineering, is ill and was unable to make the trip to Seattle. He sends his warm good wishes for an outstanding meeting and a fine volume. The purpose of this Conference is to identify and assess strat- egies for more effectively and safely managing wastes and toxic sub- stances in the environment, in part through use of genetically engi- neered microorganisms. There is a sense of desperation in our soci- ety that modern technologies have introduced a bewildering array of potential hazards to human health and to our environment. There is an accompanying sense of frustration that our prodigious basic re- search capabilities and our technological ingenuity have not yielded practical ways to control many pollutants and waste streams, or-- better still--to convert them to useful products.