Monday, October 6, 2008
The ignoble Nobel races
I'm no expert on molecular biology or genetics, or even the scientific process driving modern medicine, but it is ironic to see that the basic human instincts of envy, greed and ego are driving not only the geo-political imbalances in the world, but also drive negative behavior among the most erudite - the scientists!
The 2008 Nobel for physiology or medicine was just awarded to the discovery of the AIDS virus, and for the discovery that the human papilloma virus causes cervical cancer. The race to get credit for the discovery of HIV between the US and the French reminds us of the other big race - the Race for the Double Helix, where it seems that not everyone who deserved the credit for the discovery of the DNA molecule (Rosalind Franklin) actually received it during their lifetimes!
Even in Silicon Valley, you see this from time to time - with respect to patents, founding, e.g., Wikipedia, ideas and credit, e.g., Facebook - ConnectU. The right people often get forgotten when convenient to some parties! Fame and fortune drive people to this.
The excuse...it's only human!