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

Humor

“I’m now ‘Doctor’ to the patients and I have to cover my ignorance by waving my arms and looking grave.”
- Howard Florey, creator of penicillin, on graduation from medical school

“No one ever had an idea in a dress suit.”
-Frederick Grant Banting

Karl Landsteiner, discoverer of blood groups, brought his beloved dog, Waldi, to work and let him sit under his desk. Around lunch time every day Waldi would start barking and Landsteiner would playfully reprimand him:

 “Waldi, you’ve not an atom of respect for science.”



On the question of how he would want to die, Bill Foege, whose discovery helped eradicate smallpox, says:

“I’ve thought about it many times. And I’ve decided these are the characteristics of my death. First I want my death to be meaningful. Second, I’d like it to be a time of my choosing…so I can plan to say my goodbyes and put my affairs in order. Finally, if possible I’d like it to be quick and painless.
 I’d like to be executed.”

“Is it not strange that I, who have so little time left, should be teaching patience to you, who have your life before you?”  
- Karl Landsteiner, discoverer of blood groups, to his students

“The tools for carving consist of some scalpels which might cut tobacco, some needles and a pair of artery forceps. I ordered a few extra but feel inadequate for anything big, e.g. disarticulation of head from neck.”
- Howard Florey, creator of penicillin, on taking a job as a ship’s doctor

“Today I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that my cholesterol levels have reached 240 mg/dl. Maybe I had Sukiyaki or Shabushabu too often! …The funny thing is that the doctor said, ‘Don’t worry! I know some very good drugs to lower your cholesterol.’
 -Akira Endo, whose doctor did not know he was treating the discoverer of statins

Ethel came down with pleurisy, an inflammation of the lungs. Howard prescribed rest, “As I do for all my patients; it’s the only treatment I’m sure about.”
- Howard Florey, creator of penicillin, just out of medical school, on treating his girlfriend