Talk:Clarence Cook Little

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This article contains a number of unsourced quotes and unreferenced statements. Please insert references where need is indicated by [citation needed] tags. Thanks for the contribution!

Anne Landman TobaccoWiki editor

December 16, 2008
I have removed the following unreferenced information from this article. It can be reinstated if adequate references are provided:

--Over the years, Little allied himself more and more with the industry position, until eventually he became one of their most prominent spokesmen. His credentials as a scientist were generally held to be impeccable -- even though most of his life was spent in administration. Most of the day-to-day work of the TIRC was done by Robert Casad Hockett, who had very little in the way of biological/medical credentials, but who developed into a clever manipulator of the science.[citation needed]

--He came from a wealthy Boston family with newspaper connections, so, although he was praised as an "eminent geneticist," it was his administrative and fund-raising abilities that built his reputation.[citation needed]

--In 1929 he became the managing director of the American Society for the Control of Cancer which had been established in 1913, and this society later became the American Cancer Society. In the same year, he founded his own laboratory (with automobile industry money) in Bar Harbour, Maine. This was a cancer research institute funded by Edsel Ford of the Ford Motor Co. and Rosco B. Jackson, the head of the Hudson Motorcar Co. (who was memorialized in the laboratory's name after his death -- the "Rosco B Jackson Memorial Laboratory"). The Rockefeller Foundation kicked in a third of a million dollars, the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund also made a substantial grant, with some annual operating funds coming from the US Public Health Service. The Laboratory's annual operating budget was about $750,000, and its focus was on "non-infectious" diseases.[citation needed]

--He raised even more money and rebuilt the laboratory.[citation needed]

--In 1954, when the tobacco industry suddenly realized that it would need to do some research into the problems of tobacco and lung-cancer, Little was still in charge of the Rosco B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory -- a position he was not willing to vacate.[citation needed]

But he had the scientific networking credentials that the tobacco industry knew it needed for the new Tobacco Industry Research Committee. From their viewpoint, Little had:

  • the right scientific reputation in cancer genetics,
  • the Boston Brahmin connections,
  • close links with the top Harvard Alumni, and
  • family relations with the east-coast newspaper business (particularly with Luce Publications, which owned Time magazine).
  • he was also the long-term editor of "Cancer" magazine -- a fact that would have not passed unnoticed by the tobacco industry's selection committee.[citation needed]

Two old Harvard friends were advising the tobacco industry on the establishment of the TIRC, and the selection of a prominent Chairman for the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). They were also from the Harvard-based east-coast scientific establishment, and they were to hold positions on the Laboratory's SAB under Little's chairmanship: [citation needed]

--- I removed the following information because it was unclear how it related to C.C. Little. If information on a relationship between them can be provided, we can reinstate it:

  • Howard B. Andervont, was a virologist from Harvard School of Public Health, who at various times was also on the staff of the National Cancer Institute. He resigned from the NCI in 1961 to become editor of the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute" and joined the TIRC's SAB shortly after.[citation needed][1]

Parking the following unreferenced information:

Little was 65 at the time of his selection to head the TIRC, but not quite ready to retire from his laboratory, so the tobacco executives settled on hiring him as a part-time Chairman, with a full-time Acting Scientific Director, Robert Casad Hockett, running the show behind the scenes. Hockett didn't have the necessary qualifications to be the figure-head, but he developed a healthy reputation within the industry as a first-class controller and corrupter of scientists, and Little basked in his reflected glory without ever needing to get his hands dirty.[citation needed]

At the TIRC, Little's main job was to be the public spokesman and to run the grant-making Scientific Advisory Board. Later lawyers took the primary decision-making out of his hands.[citation needed] He made sure that the grant money was equitably shared around between all the major research organizations, especially those with a representative on the SAB (plus a few genuine independent grants for show).[citation needed] He also agreed, when pressed, to take recommendations for research projects from the tobacco companies, and pass them on to the SAB members (who would, presumably, then convey the ideas to their institutions -- which would then seek a grant). In the early years, this is as close as Little came to what could be considered corrupt conduct.

--Many years before taking the TIRC position, back in 1944 as managing director of the American Society for the Control of Cancer, the predecessor of the American Cancer Society, he had warned against smoking. [citation needed]

Parking unreferenced info: As a later court case [citation needed]found: the manufacturers continued to assert "there was no proof that cigarette smoking caused any disease,” [But] these public positions clearly “did not accord with the private views of their own scientists.”[citation needed]

  • Animal Experiments: Little's Jackson Laboratory was also famous for its work in developing transgenic mice which are widely used in toxicology research. But he never pushed the case for animal experiments on tobacco smoke (the tobacco executives had a "gentlemen's agreement" not to do this kind of research).[citation needed]
  • Epidemiology: His friend EB Wilson, also a member of the SAB, was even more scathing about epidemiology as a science than Little, and the TIRC never supported epidemiological research, despite the fact that most regulation rested on such population studies.[citation needed]
  • Physical Anthropology: Little and Wilson both focussed on the need for more work in physical anthropology, with the active promotion of Carl C. Seltzer, at the Harvard School of Public Health. He became their favorite scientist because he promoted "The Constitutional Hypothesis" for lung-cancer -- which the industry believed was it's best defense against claims of "causation". Essentially this was the theory that some people are genetically weak-willed and therefore smoke. The claim is that these genetically weak people are also more susceptible to cancer. (At one time Little was president of the American Eugenics Society)[citation needed]

Little's more flamboyant statements created headlines of the kind: "You can get cancer from eating chicken,"[citation needed] and he criticized the UK Royal College of Physicians report saying that "it glosses over considerable scientific research" while maintaining that "every effort to induce lung cancer in animals by having them inhale tobacco smoke has failed." This was simply untrue at the time, although he may not have known about some of the tobacco company's in-house research.[citation needed]

December 16, 2008
The following paragraph does not seem to match the referenced provided. We need a correct reference for these quotes:

--He actively attacked the American Cancer Society, saying that they were only "ardent laymen and some already convinced scientists [attempting] to activate debate and controversy."[citation needed] And in a court case in 1960 he testified that the TIRC "had never done any work on tobacco smoke because it had not been proved to be carcinogenic." [2] In his opinion, such studies were therefore "A waste of time."[citation needed]

  1. Ramm, HH. Council for Tobacco Research No Title Correspondence. January 14, 1974. Bates No. 966001618
  2. Kaczynski, Stephen J; Crist, Paul G; Marple, William E; Abrams, Thomas L Report Regarding Corporate Activity Project Undated. Brown & Williamson Bates No. 681879254/9715, at Bates No. 681879254, or Page 145