Not everybody on the Nobel Committee loves Raymond Damadian
While today's Nobel Peace Prize announcement will no doubt reignite discussion over whether Islam is a religion of peace, and may cause some to ask what happened to the buzz that Pope John Paul II would win, others are still discussing the controversy over this year's Nobel Prize in medicine.
But when you ask Google who invented the MRI, the most common answer is Raymond V. Damadian. What's up? The controversy has been percolating, and The Wall Street Journal reported last year that "a ferocious battle in the scientific community over who gets credit" probably held up an MRI-related Nobel for years.
A full-page ad in yesterday's The Washington Post said the Nobel committee was "attempting to rewrite history" and "did one thing it has no right to do: It ignored the truth."
Likewise, Damadian told Newsday, "I can't escape the fact that I started it all. … My concern is the distortion by the Nobel Committee to write me out of the history of the MRI. Every history book from now on will say the MRI is Lauterbur and Mansfield."
"I know that had I never been born, there would be no MRI today," he told The Washington Post.
Many scientists agree, but some suggest that Damadian's self-promotion may have hurt him. He's "sometimes flamboyant," NPR science correspondent Richard Knox told All Things Considered yesterday.
But Knox, along with Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey, suggested another reason Damadian may have been disregarded: He's a devout Christian (see this 1997 profile in Christianity Today ...1