The RAC is a technical committee whose goal is to consider the current state of knowledge and technology regarding recombinant DNA. This includes review of human gene transfer trials, and an assessment of the ability of DNA recombinants to survive in nature and the potential for transfer of genetic material to other organisms. It also considers hypothetical hazards and methods for monitoring and minimizing risks. Approximately one-third of the 15 members do not have scientific expertise but represent public interests and attitudes. This balance is intended to provide a forum for open public debate of social and scientific issues attendant to recombinant DNA research. The RAC has been overwhelmingly successful in achieving this goal.