The Committee's outreach effort is designed to accomplish
two goals:  to gather information from sources outside the
agencies whose records constitute its primary data base, and to
publicize the Committee's work so that the public will have full
access to its deliberations.

      Every Federal advisory committee is an experiment in open
government.  In this case, the Committee is conducting an inquiry
into the Nation's past. To engage with the past, it is essential
to locate, hear, and learn from those who made and were affected
by the history that the Committee is studying. If the Committee
wants the past to connect with the present and future, it must
also hear and learn from those concerned with human
experimentation today.  The Committee has many diverse
constituencies, each of which it is seeking to reach.

     At the core of the Committee's efforts are those who
participated (or participate now) in human radiation experiments.
This group includes all living human subjects of federally-funded
experiments involving ionizing radiation, and family members (or
other representatives) of subjects who are no longer alive.  It
also includes biomedical scientists and policymakers who were or
are involved in human radiation experiments.  The Committee has
sought to contact these groups and individuals in a number of
ways.  Letters inviting participation in Committee meetings and
soliciting relevant documents and information were sent to more
than 50 groups representing subjects and families and to 15
professional societies. [19]

    In addition to the public comment period that is a component
of every Committee meeting, the Committee will hold several
meetings outside of Washington with the purpose of hearing from
the public. The October meeting of the full Committee was held in
San Francisco  so that interested parties in the Western part of
the United States could attend a meeting and express their views
directly to the Committee.  The Committee also has scheduled
three small-panel meetings, in Cincinnati (October 21), Spokane
(November 21), and Albuquerque or Santa Fe (January 30, 1995). As
time permits, the Committee may seek to use portions of its
future full Committee meetings to engage representatives of the
various constituencies in discussions of particularly knotty
questions that the Committee must address.

    The Committee, as noted, is conducting interview projects to
capture the voice of past and present investigators and subjects.
To further identify subjects (or family members), staff has
reviewed close to 20,000 telephone calls to the Radiation
Helpline maintained by the Interagency Working Group and is
reviewing several thousand letters received by DOE.  Many of
these callers and correspondents appear to have information or
perspectives of particular value and the Committee has undertaken
to contact them. [20]

    Committee staff and Committee members meet regularly with
individuals who contact the Committee and respond to calls and
letters.  When time and location permits, staff and Committee
members are available to speak at conventions, professional
conferences, or other meetings.  The Committee is seeking to
provide the public with the results of the documentary inquiry as
soon as possible, in hope that members of the public will
continue to provide analyses and reflections that the Committee
can draw upon.  Finally, the Committee seeks to engage Congress
and the press.

    Outreach efforts to date have yielded a substantial number
of useful documents from private collections, including those of
families of atomic veterans and of researchers who played
important roles in the early days of radiation experimentation.
Also as a result of the Committee's outreach program, members
have heard testimony from many persons with relevant radiation-
related experience.  Through its interview project the Committee
so far has collected valuable information from researchers and
others in their own voices.  Committee and staff members have
spoken at public meetings and met with many individuals and
groups to explain the Committee's work and report on its


19   Some responded by attending Committee meetings and
    addressing the Committee during the public comment period,
    others have supplied documents, and some have done both.  In
    a number of cases, the Committee has received valuable
    information in this way that it has not obtained by other

20   In establishing the Helpline, DOE stated that calls would be
    handled in confidence.  The data on 20,000 calls, therefore,
    was reviewed by Committee staff following DOE redaction of
    the identification of the callers.  DOE has sent letters to
    callers identified by the Committee, noting the Committee's
    interest in communication.  (The sample focused on
    individuals who appeared to have specific information
    related to experiments that the Committee has been
    addressing or might address.)

Interim Report of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation
Experiments, October 21, 1994