Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Nobel Cause


Prof. Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate, 2008
(photo taken from Wikipedia and used under a creative commons licence -original photo from Proline)

The announcement that Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (for the discovery of HIV) along with Harald zur Hausen (for linking HPV with cervical cancer) have won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine is long overdue. At the risk of name dropping, Prof. Montagnier is one of half a dozen Nobel Laureates I have actually met although I suspect if we bumped into each other today he would say either "Qui sont vous, mate?" or "Vous êtes le bloke qui nearly ruined my lecture at UCSF in 1986 when you knocked over the projector: quel plonker!". Perhaps what is more significant about this year's award is who didn't get the prize. I've already seen predictable carping to this effect. All I can say is that bullying and misconduct should never be rewarded. Those in the biosciences will know who I mean; to lay readers please forgive me but I'm withholding names to protect me from the lawyers of the guilty!

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