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Support Salk Institute’s Master Plan expansion

In 1962, Jonas Salk and architect Louis Kahn agreed on the design of Salk Institute’s Master Plan, based on the original goals and future needs of the fledgling institution. The plan would allow the institute to utilize the land granted to Mr. Salk by then-president Dwight Eisenhower, to meet its future staffing and research needs. The institute has since become one of our country’s most prominent research institutions, and has been the home to some of the most innovative scientists and breakthroughs of the past century. Salk scientists are currently taking a leadership role in California’s stem cell research, which has become an increasingly important facet of the institute, especially since the passage of Proposition 71, California’s stem cell initiative, in 2004.

For the past three years, Salk Institute has been working to realize the original Master Plan expansion, to better accommodate its staff, visiting scientists and the administrative community. The directors of the institute have made significant alterations to the original expansion plan to address environmental and aesthetic concerns expressed by local individuals and organizations. Since the release of the Master Plan’s environmental impact report, the Salk now awaits comment from the public, before it goes to review by the San Diego City Council for approval.

Salk Institute’s Richard Murphy, in a recent meeting to discuss the Master Plan, noted how the institute has been contacted by other states, interested in hosting Salk’s expansion plans. One local institution, Scripps Institute, has agreed to expand their operations to Florida. However, Murphy feels that the collaborative environment that Salk prides itself on is best served by housing all scientists within the same campus. We agree with Murphy, and we support the Salk Master Plan expansion.

Unfortunately, some of the neighbors adjacent to Salk’s southern campus oppose Salk’s expansion, and have been fighting against Salk’s Master Plan for the past several years. Certainly, the people who moved in next door realized they were living next to an important institute of research, and it is only reasonable for such an institution to expand, as UCSD has done since their inception here.

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We believe Salk Institute is an invaluable asset to the La Jolla community, and we ask the people of La Jolla for your support of Salk’s Master Plan.