My review of Stanley Prusiner's autobiography is published

My review of Stanley Prusiner's autobiography is published

 Near the end of Stanley Prusiner’s memoir of his Nobel Prize-winning research into the cause of such devastating neurological diseases as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Mad Cow Disease, he recounts how, after a talk at the Aspen Institute, his host admonished him for delivering overly sobering remarks on Alzheimer’s disease. “You have to give people some hope,” his host told him. “You need to give them some reason to believe that Alzheimer’s is not hopeless—otherwise, they won’t be interested in supporting your research.”

The comment bothered Prusiner, now director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. Throughout his research career, he had been vexed by money—the need for it and the lack of it. But he would not engage in the “dangerous behavior” of distorting his understanding of the facts to fit other people’s desires, he makes clear. Nor will he peddle science’s most potent fundraising tonic: the Elixir of Hope. “For a scientist,” he reflects, “the most important trait is intellectual honesty within himself.”

It is by this ethos that the reader should judge Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions—A New Biological Principle of Disease, Prusiner’s memoir of the journey from his humble Midwestern boyhood to the Mount Parnassus of science. 

... to read the rest of the review, please visit the Pennsylvania Gazette.