The revenge of the ridiculed scientists.
In September 2006, my article Publish or Perish: the disease of scientific research highlighted how the 2005 Nobel Prize winners in Medicine had been forbidden for years to publish the results of their research, simply because they contradicted what was taught in the faculties world-wide, and accepted by the majority of the scientific community at that time. The recent 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Daniel Schechtman, experienced a situation even more vexing. When in 1982, thirty years ago, he made his discovery of quasicrystals, the research institution that hosted him fired him because he “threw discredit on the University with his false science”. Why? Because he had the misfortune to make his discovery alone, without the help of other colleagues. Indeed, for the scientific authorities and institutions it is fashionable to proclaim that research is above all a team work. So that any individual discovery is suspect, subject to ridicule, worse, suspected of manipulation of results and scientific fraud.
The press release from Reuters News Agency dated of October 6, 2011 was entitled: Ridiculed crystal work wins Nobel.
I have often quoted in my books the philosopher Schopenhauer (1788-1860): the establishment of the truth passes through three stages: during the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is resisted, in the third it is considered as self evident. Daniel Schechtman has crossed the 3 steps. He was the subject of fierce resistance from one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Linius Pauling, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Peace Nobel Laureate. In 1985, he wrote: Daniel Schechtman tells non-sence. There are no quasi-crystals, there are only quasi-scientists!
Those who follow my research on geopolymer science know that I already went through the first two steps. Five to six years ago, we entered the consolidation phase, the third step. To see this, just look at the evolution of the number of scientific publications published each year on geopolymer science and applications.
The revenge of the ridiculed scientists.
In the USA, and consequently in the English scientific journals, my invention of the geopolymer chemistry in the years 1970-80 is narrated like a fairy tale. According to it, it was during my study of the pyramids of Egypt that, Eureka, I got this intuition. In America, the fundamental and applied researches on geopolymers are funded, since 2002, by the US Air Force who finances several laboratories in the USA as well as in Australia. Indeed, in its June 2006 issue of Technology Horizons, Research for America’s future , scientists of the Air Force Research Laboratory write :
Last year, the Nobel Prize of medicine and physiology 2005 was awarded jointly to Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, two Australian researchers who discovered the role of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the formation of stomach or duodenum ulcers. Before Marshall and Warren identify this bacterium, at the beginning of the Eighties, way of life and stress were considered as the principal causes of ulcers. It is now common knowledge that Helicobacter pylori is implied in 90% of the ulcers.
It was in Perth, Western Australia, at the Royal Perth Hospital and the University of Western Australia, very far away from the large American and European scientific communities that the researchers made their discovery, more than 25 years ago. I often went to Perth these last years, because we maintain a very effective collaboration with the geopolymer group by Professor V. Rangan at the University of Technology Curtin. See for example our World Congress Geopolymer 2005 .
2nd International Conference on Chemistry and its Applications, December 7-10, 2003, Doha, Qatar.
Today is Monday December 8, 2003, 9 am, at the University of Doha, Qatar, a wealthy small country located at the North-East of Saudi Arabia, on the Persian Gulf. I am attending the 2nd International Conference on Chemistry and its Applications. More than 350 scientists from the Arab countries attend this congress. They come from the Persian Gulf (Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain), Iran, Iraq (although the country is in war), Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The conference language is English. I am a member of its International Scientific Committee, involving fifteen renown scientists, among us three Nobel laureates. I shall present two lectures. One, on geopolymer chemistry, is programmed for tomorrow morning. It is the second, on the construction of the Egyptian pyramids with agglomerated stone (a type of natural concrete) that the organizers decided to include at the beginning of the congress, today. The conference room is full; it was necessary to add chairs. At the end of my 45 minutes presentation, after the traditional questions, a woman in large black veil, sitting in the back of the room, rises and declares: What has just exposed Professor Davidovits is the truth, because it is written in the Koran.