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

Adversity

“The discovery of the medicine was a continuation of difficulty which was like a seesaw.  However, when I pass the difficulty, there is the pleasant feeling like after I exercise and sweat…. The discovery and development of statin were a huge gamble for me in achieving my dream. Thanks to my success with statins, the dream from my boyhood was realized and I received appreciation from a large number of people from all over the world. This is a source of immeasurable joy for me. During the development and research of statins, I had the opportunity to meet many outstanding scientists.  Of these, I learned a great deal from three great scientists in particular: Konrad Bloch, Joseph Goldstein, and Michael Brown.”
- Akira Endo, discoverer of statins

In retrospect it seems clear – we didn’t know how to eradicate smallpox when we started. But this was not a negative. It was a characteristic of all unsolved problems. We are always faced with making sufficient decisions based on insufficient information. If we had waited until all the answers were available, the work on smallpox eradication would never have started – selecting the target helped develop the appropriate tools and strategy.
- Bill Foege, whose discovery of a 6% solution to the 100% problem of vaccinating every person on earth, led to the eradication of smallpox.

I mouth the strange syllables of ten forgotten languages, letting my spirits fall, my youth pass. If this mood lasts, I shall by Heaven, throw it all to the four winds and go forth into the world like Faust, even if I have to bear his penalty.
- John Enders, Father of Modern Vaccines, on his graduate work in philogy, the study of language as used in literature, in a letter to a friend. He eventually changed his major to Bacteriology and was much happier.


“If this is a firm decision, I also make a firm decision. You will have to find someone else to conform to your rules,” Borlaug told him. “You’re laying down a policy that is wrong. And I can’t go along with it. As of now, I resign. You’ll have it in writing first thing in the morning.”
- Norman Borlaug, when his Mexican double breeding plan was denied (he eventually won out)

After the fruitless testing of hundreds of various substances I must admit that it was not easy to discover a good contact insecticide. In the field of natural science only persistence and sustained hard work will produce results, and so I said to myself ‘Now, more than ever, must I continue with the search.’ This capacity I owe probably…to strict upbringing by my teacher, Professor Fichter, who taught us that in chemistry results can only be achieved by using the utmost patience.
- Paul Müller, discoverer of DDT, after two years of trying to create a new pesticide.

“Sometimes I was too hungry to concentrate, and I could not hear a lecture. Also, sometimes I felt dizzy and crouched down in a hallway to keep from fainting.”
- Akira Endo, discoverer of statins

The school had a system the students called zwei, for second meal. Some students did not eat all of their allotted food, so around 8PM a drum would signal that leftovers were available. The drum set off a race to the cafeteria for the remaining food, which was given out on a first come-first served basis. Endo studied from 7PM to12PM every night, but he always had his chopsticks ready:
“I was good at running. I ran like women running for a bargain. After all, I was not full even right after supper.”
- Akira Endo, discoverer of statins