Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Kitchen Chemistry"

...this was a derogatory term Dr. Albert Sabin used to describe Jonas Salk's brand of medicine. Jonas Salk felt most laboratories were more interested in expanding scientific perspective and not necessarily goal driven. The two were in a race to come up with a vaccine to eradicate polio in the U.S. in the 1950's. Of course Salk won (and so did Sabin in a way- he developed a cheaper oral vaccine of his own in the early 60's).
I couldn't help applying the term to sports medicine. It is a discipline that has always been driven by the practitioners. Being a kitchen chemist is not a bad thing, as long as what you are doing is based on sound scientific principle. Innovation by way of strategy & technique is impossible without it.
Tomorrow is my talk at the Yogi Berra center. Definitely kitchen chemistry stuff. I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

bk said...

This is the first time I've heard "kitchen chemistry" given as the reason why Salk didn't receive a Nobel (more details at http://www.virology.ws/2007/09/07/polio-and-nobel-prizes/).

Hurray for practitioners! We certainly need their skills! There isn't a Nobel for Engineering either, and this does not diminish the discipline's contribution to science.