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November 23, 2011

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Bill Turnier

I think his bottom line is correct. One should do research on things that interest you but that will also interest others.

The most moving story I have ever encountered on a research agenda came to me from Gertrude Eloin who I was fortunate to meet for an evening at a very small dinner at a friend's home in Chapel Hill. She was a remarkable person and had just won the Nobel prize a few years earlier. She never could get into a PhD program because of gender bias but made discoveries that led to drugs for AIDS, leukemia and herpes to name a few. I asked her why she became a scientist and she told me that she had a grandfather whom she adored and he was taken from her by cancer when she was a teenager. She said that she then resolved to kill the disease that killed her beloved grandfather. She then shrugged her shoulders and said "I obviously failed but I did a lot
of people some good." Placed besides people like Gertrude Elion, most of us feel like we are pigmies wasting the precious gift we are granted with the opportunities we have for research.

Chris Griffin

See also http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/magazine/15gays.html?pagewanted=all

Alfred Brophy

Hi Chris--thanks for that link. I'm wondering if things have changed in the academy over the past six years since that was published?

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