Saturday, July 11, 2015

D. Carleton Gajdusek - A Scientist with difference

I met this great human being when he came to Hyderabad to participate in the seminar to coincide with the inauguration of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.
I even had a long chat with him.
A photo taken at that time was printed in one of teh leading newspapers along with an article of mine.
Alas, those people did not give the photo back.

Read what he says and you would understand why I remember him after all these years.

I find fun in science only when I am thought to be a charlatan. You don’t know what
you are doing, you don’t know what questions to ask. You mull it over and you have
foolish ideas for ten or twenty years; you talk to your colleagues, and they don’t get it
and get bored. That is the creative process of science. When you know what questions
to ask and how to approach them and can finally get your colleagues excited, and they
run home to write a grant proposal, you know you’ve done your job, and you move

The biggest damage to diabetics research was Banting and Best’s discovery of insulin.
It caused fifty years in which little work was done on the cause or prevention of
diabetes, only studies on physiology of insulin, production of different insulin pharmaceuticals,
and desensitizing people who are sensitive to insulin. It has nothing to do
with ever preventing or curing diabetes. The same with multiple sclerosis. Today we
know no more about the cause than we did in the early twentieth century. The same is
for schizophrenia. I am waiting for the eighteen-year-old to come into my office, saying,
‘I’m going to give my life to find the cause of schizophrenia.’ 

I remember the first thing I asked him was "how to pronounce his name"
He heartily laughed at that!

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