Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Accomplishments of the National Youth Administration (part 1 of 10): Cancer Research

(A WPA poster urging early medical care. Compare the spirit of this poster--as well as the spirit of the WPA health clinics for low-income Americans--with the scatterbrained philosophy of President George W. Bush: "People have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

According to the Final Report of the National Youth Administration: Fiscal Years 1936-1943, "NYA students at the Medical School of the University of Wisconsin have done unusual work in cancer research. Through centrifugation these young medical students have advanced the knowledge available on cancer by determining the substances in normal tissue which regulate cell growth, either inhibiting or stimulating such growth" (p. 61).

Interestingly, at least one participant of the National Youth Administration went on to become a world renown cancer researcher at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. See "Memorial Resolution of the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the Death of Professor Emeritus James A. Miller." 

Wouldn't it be nice if we had a National Youth Administration today, to tap into the wasted potential of America's unemployed young adults? See John Hooper's op-ed "Ten Reasons for a National Youth Service" on the website of the Living New Deal. Hooper writes "A NYS would have long-term benefits for both the individual and society."

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