In 1952, the largest manufacturer of cigarettes, Philip Morris, founded a Department of Research and Development (R& D) that would ultimately elevate the company to its dominating role in the tobacco landscape. As revealed through internal industry documents available online and released through litigation, this study highlights both the role of scientific research in a controversial industry, and the role of individual researchers in the unbridled growth of Big Tobacco during the second half of the twentieth century. Despite extensive research, industry results were rarely published and never without extensive scrutiny by industry executives and lawyers. This scientific silence is in stark contrast to the industry's public stance of denying the health hazards of smoking. The extent to which the tobacco men understood the hazards of their products--and the specific details of several research projects on the dangers of smoking--are discussed. The history of the Department of Research at Philip Morris demonstrates that just as public concern was growing that smoking might be dangerous, the tobacco industry was actively pursuing research proving the very thing they were trying to convince the public was a non-issue: that smoking is harmful.