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A Community of Rambunctious Scholars Celebrating People
Who Have Made Lifesaving Discoveries And Encouraging
Students and Politicians to Read 1000 Science Stories!

Dark Days

“We lost the war. Even adults did not know what to do. We did not have food and clothes. Everything was called off. Even kids lost their dream. It was so hard that even kids did not have hope.”
 -Akira Endo, discoverer of statins

“We were having a monthly meeting in each state that was of high (smallpox) incidence. We were having people come back from the field for a day, reporting on what they were doing, and we were trying to learn as fast as we could and keep making tactical changes every month so that we were fine tuning this just as rapidly as we possibly could. Then, each month, we tried to pretend that we were on top of it and each month it kept getting worse.”
- Bill Foege, whose discovery helped eradicate smallpox

"Nobody was willing to accept that two cents worth of vitamin A was going to reduce childhood mortality by a third or half, let alone when that information was coming from an ophthalmologist.  A lot of people had spent their lives studying the complex amalgam of elements leading to childhood deaths, and here we are suggesting that we can cut right through this complex, causal web and give two cents worth of vitamin A and prevent those deaths. It didn't sit well."
- Al Sommer, Discovered that Vitamin A deficiency is a huge childhood killer

“One becomes rather lost in a maze at the thought of stopping the appalling thing of seeing young people maimed and wiped out while one can do nothing.”
– Howard Florey, creator of penicillin

“After that first search, there was a lot of discouragement and some people thought we should stop the searches. I kept arguing, the reason we found so much is, this is the most efficient surveillance system we’ve ever tried and the last thing you want to do is stop using it. Let’s just wallow and get behind but let’s keep looking and that’s what we did.”
- Bill Foege, whose discovery led to the eradication of smallpox

“There is no question, we will have to go for penicillin. My worry is that I’ve got the bacteriologists and biologists, and I’ve got my team together. If the money doesn’t come along, I might not be able to hold them together and it would all be finished.”  
- Howard Florey

“He was peremptory by nature but he was downcast, too, self-questioning and never sure in his human relations… His pessimism was sad, not bitter, and never obtrusive; despite it he cheered others in what they were trying to do. But he was held in the grip of his temperament and gradually this tightened upon him: only in his scientific life was he serene and whole. Fortunately he was sensitive else he might have been stern and demanding; and he had an eager yet hesitant desire to be liked. Liking came to him, for he was simple, sincere, modest and gentle, and witty as well in a shy way.”
- Peyton Rous, Nobel Prize winner, on Landsteiner

“I had wished that I would not receive the cold shoulder from my company because of the significant contribution I had made in the development of statin. However, I was treated exactly in the same way as my fellow workers who had resigned before me. My company’s prohibiting my fellow workers from helping me clear my belongings from the office was just one example of this ostracism.”
- Akira Endo, Discover of the cholesterol lowering drugs, statins