bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 16.12.2017 | Name days: Alvīne

Nobel prize winner's dreadful school report

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

John Gurdon

The immediate assumption one has on hearing that an academic has won the Nobel Prize  is that he must always have been a brilliant and hard-working individual  who was marked out for golden success.

In the case of the Cambridge scientist Sir John Gurdon, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this week, we were roundly disabused of this notion when he let it be known that his school science report began with the word ‘Disastrous’ — and went downhill from there, writes The Daily Mail.

British scientist John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, UK, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Oct. 8 for what the Nobel Assembly called «groundbreaking discoveries that have completely changed our view of the development and specialization of cells.» He shared the prize with Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan, who built on Gurdon’s findings.

«I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist,» Gurdon’s biology teacher once wrote in his school report. «On his present showing this is quite ridiculous; if he can’t learn simple biological facts he would have no chance of doing the work of a specialist, and it would be a sheer waste of time, both on his part, and of those who have to teach him.»

Gurdon’s work was far from satisfactory. One effort scored two marks out of a possible 50. In a class of 18 at Eton College, this master placed Gurdon 18th.

And yet, 79-year-old Gurdon has for decades been pre-eminent in the field of cloning and cell research.

In 1962, Gurdon became the first scientist to successfully clone an animal, using the egg of a frog to make a healthy tadpole. True, there are those who have questioned some of the ethical issues arising out of his work. It is as a direct consequence of his endeavours, for example, that other scientists decided to proceed with cloning Dolly the Sheep. He has also been at the vanguard of defending genetically modified crops.

But no one in recent years has questioned Sir John’s brilliance, nor his dedication to his work. Even when he was the Master  of Magdalene College at Cambridge University, with administrative responsibility to students and scholars, Sir John never let up in his scientific work, and was hard at it in the laboratory even on days when he had also to attend fundraising meetings and the like.

But there is another way of looking at it. Is it not possible that this patently honest report is one of the reasons why Gurdon went on to such great heights?

John Gurdon became a great scientist, not because he was a conceited, lazy boy, who thought he knew it all, when he did not. He became a great scientist when he stopped being that boy, and learned the tough lessons that his biology master wanted to teach him: get your facts right, apply yourself, learn to be humble in respect of facts, work hard.

In most schools today, the ethos is that children must be congratulated at all times, even when they have achieved nothing spectacular. It is thought desirable to continue praising and emphasising the positive. As a result, proper school reports are a thing of the past.

But the fact is that unless someone tells a young pupil that they could do better, they never will do better.

Ref.110.110.110.2256


Leave a reply

Citadele Index: businessmen are more optimistic about economic growth

After a four-year gap, optimism has been noticed in all of Latvia’s business sectors. For the third consecutive quarter Citadele Index value exceeds 50 points. Businessmen are also positive about the country’s economy and their own finances, according to the final Citadele Index study for 2017.

Bank of Latvia increases GDP growth outlook to 4.7% for 2017

Bank of Latvia has decided in increase gross domestic product growth outlook from 4.2% to 4.7% for 2017, as reported by the bank’s governor Ilmārs Rimšēvičs.

Latvian residents’ opinion of government’s work remains negative

Latvian residents voiced the biggest degree of dissatisfaction about the development of the situation in Latvia and the work performed by the government. Although the previous evaluation of government’s work had increased by four points, it has since declined by two points, according to data from Baltic International Bank’s Latvian Barometer.

Eel fishing to be restricted in Baltic Sea for three months

European Union Fisheries Council has decided to restrict eel fishing for three months in 2018 in all waters, including the Baltic Sea. Although the World Wide Fund for Nature and environmental organization in Europe view it as a notable first step, these efforts are unlikely to have a major impact on the most important problem – eel population continues declining rapidly, as noted by WWF.

LCCI: increase of electricity bills for thousands of companies in unacceptable

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) categorically opposes increasing electricity bills for the majority of small and medium-sized companies due to mandatory procurement component’s differentiation. The organization believes that this would basically introduce a new additional tax, making them even less competitive.

Head of Latvian Association of Regions to spend Christmas thinking on remaining in the party

Dissatisfied with multiple decisions made by Latvian Association of Regions (LAR), Riga City Council member Mārtiņš Bondars will spend the holiday thinking about his place in this political party, as he mentioned in his interview to Rīta panorama or LTV.

Estonian fund permitted to purchase several Latvia energy production companies

Latvian Competition Council has permitted Estonian fund to purchase several energy production and agricultural companies.

Meat processing giant sees room for growth in ready-to-eat foods

Consumption in the meat market segment of ready-to-eat foods is growing quickly, evaluated Finnish meat processing group HKScan that is planning to invest eight million euros in its factory in Estonia.

To fight for national minority schools, Russian representatives promise to hold a referendum

Defenders of Russian schools in Latvia promise to organize a referendum for autonomy of national minority schools, said co-chairman of Latvian Russians Association Miroslavs Mitrofanovs in regards to the transition to education only in Latvian language.

Tax payment process from capital growth to change in Latvia

As part of the tax reform, changes will be added to the Personal Income Tax Law starting from 1 January 2018. One of the changes is associated with payment and declaration of income from capital growth. The tax rate and the term for submission of declarations on income from capital growth will change next year.

Tusk deems EU migrant quotas ineffective as some states oppose taking in migrants

Donald Tusk, the head of the Council of the European Union and chairman of this week's EU summit, has evaluated that mandatory EU-wide quotas are ineffective and that there is a split between east and west as regards asylum policy.

Riga City Council’s 2018 budget – poorly planned or well-developed?

As the vote for the 2018 budget of Riga City Council draws near, representatives of all opposition parties say they will not support it as long as politicians of the ruling coalition continue viewing the city’s most important financial document as good and aimed at development.

Euro area economy has grown quicker than expected, European Central Bank estimated

Growth has been at a faster pace in the eurozone prompting the European Central Bank to raise its economic growth forecasts.

Weekends in Latvia expected to be snowy

A layer of snow will form in Latvia’s central and western regions that will remain until the middle of next week, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Opinion: Latvia at risk of restricting healthcare to 300,000 people

Kustība Par! political party has sent a letter to Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, asking him to return to the Saeima the recently approved law on healthcare funding legislative draft. According to the party, the law restricts healthcare for 300,000 people in Latvia.

Lithuania’s 2018 budget focuses on spending cuts, NATO commitment and social security

Lithuania's 2018 budget, approved this week by the Seimas, Lithuanian Parliament, makes history for being the first budget ever with fewer spending for the governmental sector, the commitment to NATO of earmarking 2 per cent of the gross domestic product to defence and bigger allotments for social security. The budget was adopted by 84 MPs, 29 voted against, with 15 abstentions.

EU member states have to strengthen measures against sexual abuse of children

Member states of the European Union have to take more serious measures and cooperate more intensely with Europol and information technology industry to better combat sexual abuse of children, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Latvian parliament views initiative for changing VAT rate for food product

On Thursday, 14 December, Latvia’s Saeima made its decision on the collective application that proposes reducing VAT on everyday healthy food products and increasing VAT on unhealthy products.

Maxima: residents have become more conservative in their choice of products

In Q2 and Q3, a higher degree of conservatism was noticed in residents’ choice of products. The number of buyers who gladly purchase new products has declined, whereas the number of buyers who do not change anything in their purchasing habits has increased, according to results of a study performed by Maxima.

Civil processes to be sped up and simplified in Latvia

On Thursday, 14 December, Saeima supported amendments to the Civil Process Law in the final reading. Amendments propose several major changes to the process of review of civil processes to make court sessions quicker and more efficient.

State Auditor dissatisfied with parliament’s slow legislative process

Latvian State Auditor Elita Krūmiņa plans to inquire to the Saeima about the delay with the approval of the legislative draft on the expansion of authority of her institution, as she mentioned in an interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Aldaris commences exports to France, China and Netherlands

Aldaris concludes 2017 with three new export contracts, commencing exports of products to China, France and Netherlands. Until now Aldaris has exported products to eight markets, with the largest one being United Kingdom, taking up 78.71% from Aldaris export volume, as reported by the company.

Estonian budget passed with 0.25 billion-euro deficit

The Estonian Riigikogu with 55 votes against 41 has passed the country’s 2018 state budget bill planning to spend by 0.25 billion more than it is planned to earn.

AFSAL: loan requests in non-banking industry are declined in 69% of all cases

In the first six months of 2017 Alternative Financial Services Association of Latvia (AFSAL) issued a total amount of EUR 84.7 million in consumer loans. No increase is noted in this amount when compared with the same period of 2016. Increase did not exceed 0.2%, as reported by the association.

European Parliament supports changes for combating activities detailed in Panama Papers

Public registries with names of true owners of businesses, effective protection of whistle-blowers and stricter requirements for financial intermediaries are some of the proposals intended to assist with the fight against tax avoidance, as noted by members of the European Parliament.

Newest comments

When do you go shoping for Christmas gifts?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive



Category feed: Feed: