Talk:Raymond Vahan Damadian

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Controversy over Damadian's role in MRI[edit]

Some of the recent edits seemed to me to violate NPOV, at least unless properly sourced. I removed this passage:

He came up with an early inefficient method of using magnetic resonance for diagnostics of cancer. It is still doubtful if this method works. The scanner used nuclear magnetic resonance to searched the whole body, but apart from that has little in common with todays MRI, which produces images.

This article could benefit from more detail about the dispute engendered by the Nobel Prize award, but I don't know if the above language is acceptable. JamesMLane 03:17, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Rephrase it then. See for references. Also read the patent and you will see that it does not concern itself with the generation of pictures.

I was trying to present both sides fairly. I left in the point that Damadian's patent didn't describe a method for generating pictures. I've added an external link to the article you cite, except that I linked to its first page. JamesMLane 18:07, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Some of the early edits are less than neutral, though the current version reads too "pro-Damadian" re: the Nobel Prize controvery. By not mentioning that his early experiments could not be generalized (specifically, not all cancer cells possess the relaxation time differences Damadian suggested), and neglecting to point out differences between "Indomitable" and modern MRI, one is left with the impression that Damadian played a much more significant role. Thoughts?

Dasmadian had a series of patents. Imaging came later. Had he discussed it too early, it might have been unpatentable. He clearly knew about imaging from the first. He's a physician and imaging is what we "do". I also heard him discuss imaging informally at a Biophysical Society meeting about 1971.
Lauderbur first imaged a clam dunked in D2O. But this was a stunt--- since deuterons weigh twice as much as protons, they produce automatic NMR contrast with the protons in real water. Otherwise, Damadian first did imaging using as contrast slight differences in proton T1/T2, but used a relatively ineffective technique. Damadians bad luck was that he did not come across Carr's work before Lauterburg did. But Damadians real contribution was NMR "Contrast". Doubtless in 100 years, MRI will be done differently from the exact way the Nobel winners did it, but Damadian's contribution will still be the basis of it. Which is why he deserved a piece of the Nobel. DrP
Actually, NMR contrast had been well-known for a long, long time before Damadian. I mean, T1 and T2 were known to Bloch, right? That's like, 1946. What Damadian did was say, "Hey, this contrast has medical uses". Significant, but that's about it. Lauterbur admits that seeing Damadian's work motivated him to develop MRI, but even if Damadian hadn't come along, NMR had been moving in that direction since its discovery. People were already doing NMR on cells before Damadian. 23:42, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
P.S. To sign off, add 4 tildes (~) at the end. It will automatically generate a signature. 23:42, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
T1 and T2 ("spin-spin" and "spin-lattice" relaxation times) are bulk properties, not contrast per se. E.g., one test tube of pure water will give the same signal as any other. What Damadian showed was that they are slightly different in different tissues. I.e., the local enviornment of the water protons is different in different tissues. At the time, there was a lot of talk about "structured water". E.g., see Cope's 1969 paper. Damadian took all this stuff and ran with it.
This difference in relaxation times is what MRI works with. The first person to show NMR "imaging" was Carr in the 1950's in a primitive one-demensional version of what Lauderbur eventually did, but not with tissue. Interestingly, Lauderbur probably had a copy of Carr's thesis (as he did Damadian's manuscript) but never acknowledged it. Carr is too nice to say the Noble prize winners swiped his work without acknowledging it, but comes very close to it in his letter to Physics Today.
And yes, others were looking at using the magnetic resonance properties of tissues, mainly with repect to the local ordering of water. Carlton Hazelwood, Gilbert Ling, and my friend Freeman Cope (whom Damadian acknowledges gave him the germ of the idea) come to mind. Again, see Cope's 1969 paper on structured water for even earlier references. Likewise, I was in grad school with Paula Beal. In fact, I was one of them, using a "Poor man's MRI" called TDR (see reference). But these workers generally acknowledge Damadians priority on the tissues differences issue. The Noble commitee not anly screwed Damadian, they also screwed all the tissue NMR people whose work led to Damadian's fundamental discovery. Lauderbur et al merely harvested a well-tilled garden.
In this regard, your point about somebody besides Damadian eventually coming up his stuff begs the point. The same is true of any invention. There is a valid school of thought that says that when the time is right, inventions essentially invent themselves. So we see a race to the patent office over and over. But we have chosen to reward the winner, both by discovery credit and by patent claims, ie., cash. The reason for this is to encourage people to run the race, which Damadian won here and got over $100 million for from GE in a patent case. Pproctor 15:44, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Even then, you had people looking at biological compounds - I think Damadian

Have added commentary and references about cancer and focused field approaches.

Middle name?[edit]

What does the "V" in his middle name stand for? -- FP 02:35, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

It is "Vahan" - I got it by emailing his company. -- FP 01:17, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)


Could pasboudin please explain how his edit made the article more NPOV? From my viewpoint it is biased now, especially with inclusions of words such as "claim" for known and non-disputed facts (That Damadians patented method does not produce images.)

My aim wasn't necessarily to dispute that, just to give the point of view of those who feel the Nobel committee made the right decision. It seems that it wasn't the best wording. I changed it, let me know if you feel the current version is not acceptable. I also changed the "unreproducible" part of Damadian's earlier experiments since the source given was one university professor's quote. Maybe someone can come up with a better source. For now I will just state that Damadian's work was "flawed". Any other issues with my edits? Pasboudin 02:27, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
The literature contains some letters about Damadian's methods being unreproducible - I'll see if I can track them down. I should also point out that the article seems to blur the differences between NMR and MRI - Damadian did point out that that NMR could be used for medical purposes (even if his method were flawed), but never really talked about producing images. I think that's the main reason he didn't get the Nobel Prize.
Again, the original name for "Magnetic Resonance Imaging" (MRI) was "Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging". "Nuclear" got lopped off because it has bad connotations. Likewise, Damadian knew all about the possibilities for imaging and even won a big patent case on this basis. Similarly, in addition to the fact he was not a member of the club, the arguable reason he did not get the Nobel is because the Nobel committe did not want to give an avowed creationist a bully pulpit. Don't blame them myself...
I've done a bit of a rewrite, though I think it could use some tweaking to get to a more NPOV (Damadian's method of generating images was poor, though I'm trying to be neutral about the way I say this) 21:29, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Pioneers of NMR and Magnetic Resonance in Medicine: The Story of MRI[edit]

It seems to me that this book may not be neutral. The only quotes I could find linking Damadian to MRI (as opposed to NMR), are from Mattson and Simon. It is also a favourite of the FONAR company.

MRI is an application of NMR ( "Nuclear Magnetic Resonance"). Originally it was "Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging". The marketing people cut it to "Magnetic Resonance Imaging" because to most people "Nuclear" implies ionizing radiation, like you get from nuclear weapons. In fact, it is the nuclei (in this case, protons) that resonate. Another name for the process used in most medical MRI is PMR or "Proton Magnetic Resonance".
What Damadian did was take the existing technique of PMR and apply it to looking at the tissue enviornment of water molecules, which have a couple of attached hydrogen nuclei ("Protons"). This was different for different tissues, meaning "contrast". Which is what makes MRI possible. Dr P

Edit of on 8 July 2006[edit]

  • Note to whoever is objecting to this edit--- This ain't just "opinion". E.g., your humble servant, a PhD biophysicist and an MD, was at the 1971 (or was it '72) Biophysical society meeting where Damadian specifically-discussed the issue of T1/T2 "contrast" making imaging possible--it is pretty obvious if you are used to X-rays and such as a physician. At the time, Damadian may not have made sufficient issue about this because "everybody knows it". For a while, I was also a nominal competitor of Damadian, developing a "Poor Man's MRI" called TDR. I know Damadian slightly, but was a good friend of Freeman Cope, whom Damadian readily admits contributed greatly to the concept that the local proton enviornment may differ among tissues. I have also published a major paper in human evolution. So obviously, I am not a fan of Damadian's creationist views, as well as some of his other opinions. But fair is fair.
I am sorry, but an anonymous comment on a discussion page is not really enough. Is there any references that supports the above assertion? Otherwise I vote to strike the notion in the main text.--Mossig 19:55, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm Peter H. Proctor, PhD, MD. A real person. Still trying to figure out the ins and outs of editing on Wikipedia. Been posting here for a considerable time. This is the first time I have run into this kind of problem. Damadian always did generate considerable controversy.
I casually wandered by the Wikipedia entry on Damadian and noticed much was omitted and some was factually incorrect. E.g., Damadian's imaging technique worked, but was a dead end. So I get into trouble when I attempted to correct such factual errors and give some flavor of the nature of the dispute. If you don't like editorial comment, don't place it in the article-- I reasonably beleived I was correcting someone else's editorial comment. "Eye of the beholder", etc.
Stated simply-- I was there when all this stuff was being invented and know or knew many of the principals. I also knew the science, most of it, though admittedly I am a little rusty after over two decades. I'm a physician too. so I can comment on the medical stuff. I don't have any particular axes to grind, other than that discovery credit is one of the few rewards in science. It ought to be fairly distributed. I also note that Carr's work was also slighted and gave a link to his letter to Physics Today.
As for your questions about my claims of being an early "competitor" of Damadian. Our competing methodology was something called "time domain reflectometry" or TDR. See this link for a copy of the paper. It was inspired by Carlton Hazelwood, another competitor/collaborator of Damadian's. At the time, it was also a dead-end, though I hear it has recently been revived. You don't need that great big magnet.
As for my creds in human evolution, see Uric acid and Ascorbic acid, similar functions in man?, published in the top journal Nature. How many people get to give the final answer to a human evolutionary question raised by JBS Haldane ? So obviously I am not sympathetic with Damadian's creationist views. But again, fair is fair.
Peter H Proctor, PhD, MD 13:30, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Alternate POV[edit]

Further comment: If nobody objects, I intend to edit the Raymon v Damadian biography to reflect the information contained above. If anybody has any comments or anything to contribute, please let me know. Pproctor 00:24, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Go ahead, as long as it is accurate, NPOV and with the right references. JoJan 07:56, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Have done so. Hopefully you-all now recognize that the secondary sources on Damadian are often wildly inaccurate. Much of this innacuraccy is due to frank ignorance or taking partisan claims at face value. Unfortunately, sometimes it is because of an agenda. There was a lot of money at stake in the patents, not to mention the odd Nobel prize and Damadian's wierd creationist views. Thus, to get the true picture, you must go back to the original sources.

Arguably, the single most illustrative of these is Freeman Copes' 1969 paper looking at deuterium ("heavy hydrogen") relaxation times in both muscle and Brain. Cope used deuterium because only this form of hydrogen was technically-feasible to look at in tissues using late 1960's MRI technology. Damadian later extended the technique to "real" hydrogen nuclei. By chance, the whole paper is available on-line. Read it and understand its implications. The relaxation times are completely different in the two tissues. Sic:

"Longitudinal NMR relaxation times (T1) of D in water of muscle and brain averaged 0.092 and 0.131 sec, respectively, compared with 0.47 sec in D2O in liquid water. Transverse NMR relaxation times (T2) averaged 0.009 and 0.022 sec in D2O of muscle and brain, respectively, compared with 0.45 sec in D2O in liquid water".
I.e., there is tissue NMR contrast between muscle and brain. Both Cope and Damadian as physicians were cognizant of medical imaging. Further, there is no mention of "cancer", which is a red herring. Cope and Damadian were occasional coauthors, as well as good friends. In fact, Damadian gives Cope credit for the germ of the idea of using relaxation time differences as contrast-- roughly, "If you could do the same thing with protons (or whatever), it could be used to image." Pproctor 15:43, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Damadian image patent[edit]

The alternate POV now states that Damadian patented NMR imaging: could somebody please supply the patent #? I have never seen this patent, and am most interested in its existance? --Mossig 16:22, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Ah, the limitations of not qualifying everything and trying to use shorthand expressions. There was so much prior art here that it would have been difficult to patent the whole of imaging. So, as is usual, Damadian patented key bits and pieces of the technology. IIRC, technically, what Damadian nailed GE with was the patented use of proton relaxation time differences as the basis for MRI imaging. I have changed the text to reflect this. I'll have to check among his several patents, but he may have used the first patent combined with the concept that imaging in general is "inherent" in his claims to detect cancer. Which it is BTW, at least to someone "skilled in the art", the usual and customary test. For more on the history here, see this link...Pproctor 19:59, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
As this claimed patent never showed up during the heydays of discussion around the nobel price, I am still sceptical of its existence. And btw, the "skilled in the art" part of the patent law hardly guards for the absurdly obvious, so if you do not name it in the patent, it is not covered. The concept of generating images from relaxation time differencs would definitly have been patentable.--Mossig 01:32, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by "patent". As with any technology, only certain aspects of the technology had the necessary elements of novelty, utility and non-obviousness to qualify. In Damadian's case, the chief patentable item was the "use" of tissue differences in proton relaxation times as contrast. Since this underlies the entire field, I suppose it is "the MRI patent".
What I mean with a "patent" is pretty obvious: Something issued by a patent office with a patent number. Thats all.--Mossig 23:38, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, Lauderbur had great difficulty in getting a patent on his invention. IIRC, the patent office thought it was "obvious" as a combination of existing technologies. I would love to see the patent file wrapper to see if the examiner cited Carr's (or whomever's) work. Alternately, somebody thought his imaging methodology was not novel.
E.g., the NSF summary on MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING notes: "During the next several days, Lauterbur figured out how to create a series of one-dimensional projections by changing the orientation of the gradient field and then mathematically reconstruct a two-dimensional image. (Lauterbur was not aware of previous techniques for accomplishing this, nor did he know that the principle was being applied to CT scanning at about this time.) He attempted to patent the idea privately but failed," (emphasis-added)..Pproctor 20:23, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
"And btw, the "skilled in the art" part of the patent law hardly guards for the absurdly obvious, so if you do not name it in the patent, it is not covered"
Flatly not true. BTW, I have nine US patents myself and have engaged in patent litigation from several perspectives. Been there done that. You don't have to name every little thing in a patent and many persons (including myself) do not, though more recently applicants often do so, so there is no misunderstanding. E.g., if something is "inherent" in a claim, it is covered. Same with the "doctrine of equivalents". To give a commonly-used example: if I patent the four cylinder internal combustion engine, six (or whatever) cylinder engines are also covered. This doesn't mean somebody cannot patent a non-obvious improvement such as a radiator.
Applying this to Damadians "cancer" patent-- He claims using relaxation time differences to distinguish one kind of tissue ("cancer") from the surrounding tissues. But this technology distingushes any tissue whose proton relaxation times differ sufficiently from surrounding tissues. You don't need to list all these tissues. So, absent other factors, his patent also covers this. BTW, these days at least, in judging "doctrine of equivalents", the court will look at "intent" at the time of application. Damadian could easily show that he had general imaging in mind. Pproctor 22:19, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
You say so. You have still not convinced med. Please provide a source for this claim. (And I also have patents, and am knowledgable of the field, se there is no need to patronize me. If you look at current patents that are issued, the level of "obvious" is very much reuced.) That a patent that identifies cancer also covers imaging is a bit of a strecth, IMHO.--Mossig 23:37, 19 July 2006 (UTC)\\
Patent Holders Given Edge in Battle Against Infringers gives a good summary of the doctrine of equivalents: "Under the Doctrine of Equivalents, patent protection applies not only to the literal elements claimed in a patent, but also to the reasonable equivalents of the recited elements. An equivalent is something that performs substantially the same function as a recited element, in substantially the same way, to achieve substantially the same result."
The relationship of imaging cancer to imaging other tissues, may not be obvious to you, but it is obvious to me and every other physician I know. And it was obvious to Damadian and Cope. Besides the fact that they told me so, note that Cope's germinal paper mentions muscle and brain. It does not mention "cancer". Fact is, if cancer were not so similar to other tissues, there would be no need to use a million-dollar gadget to image it. The thing speaks for itself. (flame deleated).
Similarly, I am not sure exactly which theory of law Damadian used to enforce his patent against GE. But obviously it worked to the tune of $100 million plus. About "talking down". It is difficult to determine who says what here or what they know. It is also obvious that anything ambiguous or any shorthand is going to get jumped on. So I had better define everything ad nauseum. Sorry about that, pproctor 03:42, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Still no source for the claim that Damadian had imaging, and not only cancer localisation as described in the patent, in mind? --Mossig 04:47, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Source? We can go round and round on this. For one thing, I personally am a primary source--- I heard them (Damadian and Cope) discuss imaging in the early 1970's. Like Damadian, I'm a physician with the odd physics degree. I am in a pretty good position to understand what they said and intended. I My point here is that the secondary sources here are often wrong, for a complicated set of reasons. Reminds me of the scene in the movie Annie Hall, where Woody's character brings out Marshall MacLuhan.
For another, the evidence that Damadian had general imaging in mind is pretty clear, convincing and entirely internally-consistent, beyond a reasonable doubt. Not to mention the fact that Damadian both built an imager "with all due speed" and convinced a court. Similarly, "localization" (technically, producing a set of coordinants) inherently means imaging, which is nothing but an array of such coordinants. Admittedly, Damadian is concrete evidence that pretty smart people can believe the strangest things "on faith" in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence. You and me excepted, naturally<G>.
Likewise, Lauderbur says he very quickly saw the imaging possibilities when he heard of Damadain's findings. Give Damadian credit for at least the same smarts. .... Pproctor 14:30, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
PPS:Damadain's patent mentions "scanning, as the NSF history notes. In medicine, "scanning" implies imaging of some sort. Pproctor 15:31, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Why the (obscenity-deleted) did you remove my post?[edit]

Look, without intending too when I started, I spend hours of my hours of my rather expensive time preparing it. If you don't agree with it, post your own alternative POV. Flat factual inaccuracies are not exactly "neutral opinion". Wikipedia is always asking for expert imput. Only when a real expert gets involved (and not only that, one who was THERE) he gets censored. Sorry about stepping on some toes. If you really, truely know anything about this are, give us the benefit of your knowledge.

Peter H. Proctor, PhD, MD

Hi Peter. I reverted your edits because they were poorly structured, unencylopedic, POV'd, and rambling. To be honest, they read as a manifesto as to why Damadian should have gotten the Nobel Prize. That's not what Wikipedia is for. 23:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

When I first posted here, it was to correct clear factual errors in the main text without intending to get so involved. That got reverted, along with a statement that I was somehow "vandalizing" and better watch it or I would get tossed off Wikipedia. Unlikely, in retrospect. BTW-- Wikipedia likes technical experts like me here, solicits them, in fact.

e.g., From uric acid "This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. Please help recruit one, or improve this page yourself if you can...." Pproctor 19:58, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

So, the next time and after going thru it on the discussion group, I left the original text intact and merely presented a clear and labled POV, complete with cites from the earlier literature and from a carefully-researched and objective NSF history of the field. You cannot talk about Damadian without detailing the technical history of MRI, which is complicated and controversial.

As for ""rambling", etc. it is also true that my post was somewhat circumferential. This was because it is abundently clear that any omission, short-cuts, etc. are going to get jumped on, straw-manned, etc.. Having established that "Yes I am aware of this", I have cut drastically.

It is also useful to document WHY so many knowledgable people think Damadian deserved a Nobel. I am about as knowledgable as you can get about both the history and the technology. I was even THERE. The implication otherwise is that he is just a whiner-- also a definite POV.

If you think you can give the same information better, go for it. Pproctor 14:53, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Lose the attitude -- the writing was bad. You may call it circumferential, I call it circumlocutious, but either way it was not encyclopedic. If you wish to provide sources for what you have written (WP:RS, WP:V), rather than basing it on what appears to be original research ([[WP:NOR) -- after all, you were there -- then go for it.
The PhD and MD after your name are irrelevant here, whether "Wikipedia likes technical experts like me here, solicits them, in fact" or not.
That you may know something to be true is far different from providing the citations to back it up (listing papers doesn't count).

•Jim62sch• 23:52, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Restored original post: Pproctor please don't interpost, it makes it very hard to follow who said what. Thanks! •Jim62sch• 11:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Er, I provided cites and links ad nauseum. Both below and in the article. Some have been deleated. Look back in the chain and you can see them. These include a link to the comprehensive NSF history of MRI as well as to a full copy of my friend Freeman Cope's original paper on different tissue relaxation times with D20. Both papers are important keys to understanding Damadian's role in MRI.
They are called "credentials" from the latin word "credere", to believe. Their usual function is to establish that the bearer has certain basic knowledge--in my case in biophysics/pharmacology and medicine. All quite relevant to the issues here. It's why they pay me the big bucks<G>.
True, by chance, I am a primary source here. I was there for some of this, knew the principals, etc.. I can establish this by proper citations. E.g. this one where we probe water structure with TDR as an alternative to NMR. But I also posted ample other citations. Apparently, these conflict with certain strongly-held beliefs. Pproctor 03:43, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Your being a primary source is essentially irrelevant. Please read WP:RS and WP:V. Also in the future, please do not split up others comments on the talk pages. It makes them hard to read. Thanks. JoshuaZ 04:09, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Note I said "by chance" in relation to being a primary source. My point being--having been there and done that means I know which published sources are credible and which are not. Again, because of all the controversy surrounding Damadian, many of the secondary sources are factually inaccurate.
In contrast, for a pretty good summary of Damadian's role in MRI, I recommend the NSF history, from which I drew most of my stuff. The author(s) even interviewed the principals. With the addition of some additional cited and linked material on Freeman Cope and Herman Carr, this is pretty much my story too. Pproctor 04:51, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what, "Apparently, these conflict with certain strongly-held beliefs" means. In any case, see my comment at the bottom of this page -- it's a way to keep the article readable, while still providing the technical info (and possibly other info) as footnotes, instead of as in-line techie-speak likely to drive the average reader away. I don't want to oversimplify the article, but sentences including such stuff as "tumors and normal tissues have different proton relaxation times (T1/T2} in NMR." aren't conducive to a better understanding of the subject (Damadian).
A good idea/project for you might be to edit the Relaxation (NMR) article so that it's a bit more accessible, and we could link to it in this article. •Jim62sch• 11:07, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


Damadian, R. V. "Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance," Science, 171 (March 19, 1971): 1151-1153.

Damadian, R., Goldsmith, M., and Minkoff, L. "NMR in Cancer XVI: FONAR Image of the Live Human Body," Physiological Chemistry and Physics, 9 (1977): 97.

Damadian, R., Minkoff, L., Goldsmith, M., Stanford, M., and Koutcher, J. "Field Focusing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (FONAR): Visualization of a Tumor in a Live Animal," Science 194, (1976):1430.

Lauterbur, P. C. "Image Formation by Induced Local Interactions: Examples of Employing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance." Nature, 242 (1973): 190-191.

Lauterbur, Paul C. "Cancer Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Zeugmatographic Imaging," General Motors Charles F. Kettering Prize Lecture, Cancer, 57 (1986): 1899-1903.

Also see: NSF summary on MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING Quote: "The idea of using a magnetic gradient to introduce spatial information into signals from an NMR spectrometer, which can then be converted to an actual visual image, was Paul Lauterbur's. The idea of applying NMR to cancer detection and realizing the idea in the first commercial MRI machine were Raymond Damadian's contribution. [50]"

"References in a standard chemistry textbook to Nicolaas Bloembergen's finding, 20 years earlier, that NMR relaxation times T1 and T2 were affected by the viscosity of a fluid led Damadian eventually to consider applying NMR spectroscopy to tissue in the hope of finding differences between cancerous and normal tissue.

At the April 1969 meeting of the Federation of American Societies in Experimental Biology, Damadian and Freeman Cope agreed to conduct NMR experiments on detecting potassium in bacteria from the Dead Sea. (Cope had been working on detecting sodium in brain tissue and wanted to measure potassium in biological tissue.) They were able to borrow time on a new, pulsed FT spectrometer made by NMR Specialties of New Kensington, PA, which enabled them to observe relaxation times directly. They were successful in detecting potassium, and this led Damadian to seek support from New York City's Health Research Council for purchase of a pulsed NMR spectrometer to explore the potential use of spectroscopy "for early non-destructive detection of internal malignancies" (letter quoted in Mattson and Simon, 1996: 646). A year later, Damadian had assembled a collection of rats bearing tumors and had again received permission to use spectrometers at NMR Specialties. The T1 measurements Damadian made of cancerous vs. normal rat tissue were the basis for his 1971 article in Science.

Subsequent investigations by Damadian and others revealed that, although the relaxation times of signals from cancerous tissue were different from those from normal tissue, they overlapped with relaxation times from noncancerous but abnormal tissue. But Damadian was initially convinced that relaxation times could be used to detect cancer, and therefore in 1972 filed a patent claim for an "Apparatus and Method for Detecting Cancer in Tissue." The patent included the idea of using NMR to "scan" the human body to locate cancerous tissue. In early 1976, he and his graduate students began working on a prototype machine, with technical assistance from the physics department at Brookhaven National Laboratory (which put him in touch with people designing superconducting magnets for the latest particle accelerator) and financial assistance from private donors. Work continued for a year and a half on an NMR machine with a superconducting magnet large enough to accommodate a human body. In July 1977, Damadian and his students succeeded in creating a crude image of the cross section of a human chest, accomplished by moving the subject through 106 slightly different positions to build up an image. (The focal point was achieved through a combination of electrically focusing the RF field and taking advantage of inhomogeneities in the magnet's main field.) " ....Pproctor 01:29, 19 July 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure just who the intended audience is, but this article needs serious cleanup -- to be blunt, it is essentially incomprehensible to anyone not knowing Damadian's background. •Jim62sch• 23:36, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

From my user page:
Hi Jim. Thanks for stepping in with the Damadian article; I agree that recent changes leave it difficult to understand. If you're willing, could you take a look at this earlier version and let us know whether you think it's better than the current version? I'd like an unbiased opinion. (left by
Quick answer, yes, it's much easier to read and requires no in-depth background knowledge of Damadian or NMR/MRI. The more recent additions are, as I said, somewhat incoprehensible, but with some rewording could be valuable as footnotes using the new ref style. If you need any assistance with doing this, leave me another message. (My methodology would be to move the current page into talk, restore the July 10 version, convert current refs to footnotes and then add (where applicable) any new info as fotnotes). •Jim62sch• 10:40, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I've restored the original and will look at addressing your recommendations next. 17:50, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
One problem is that the restored version is technically-inaccurate in some grating ways. I set off this fuss by trying to correct them. E.g., tissues don't "respond to MRI". More precisely, tissues "give an MRI signal". Damadian discovered that this signal is often different for different tissues. None of this requires "special knowledge" to understand. The POV is also not neutral. See especially the NSF history of MRI linked above. Pproctor 00:59, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Then fix those specific technical inaccuracies without going into a massive rewrite that changes the whole article. Make sure to include citations, and let's not suddenly make the article so overly technical that it will not be of value to the average user of Wikipedia. •Jim62sch• 16:33, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Did so, also adding cites to Carr's work and the National Science Foundation history of MRI. I firmly expect these to be reverted too, but hope springs eternal. BTW, my original changes were not very technical, but kept getting reverted. I figured it was an issue of persuasion, so kept providing additional technical details for my position ad nauseum. There is a certian bind here. Pproctor 06:08, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I Also noted that Damadians work was what prompted Lauderbur to look at imaging (it was in his lab notebook). This was a significant omission from the original that totally distorts the POV. Likewise, with the fact that Damadian won a big patent infringment lawsuit----I give a link to a New York Times article. Without these two key facts, the reader will wonder what the fuss is about. However, I reluctantly took out Freeman Copes role-- he was actually the first to demonstrate hydrogen-nuclei MRI contrast in tissues, with heavy hydrogen. This was the ancestor of both Damadian's work with regular protons and Lauderbur's first imaging studies. The latter looked a clam dunked in Cope's "contrast material", deuterium oxide.Pproctor 13:35, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I've tried to incorporate your suggestions into the current article, in a more user-friendly fashion. 18:12, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Suggestions: "....albeit using a "focused field" technique that differed from conventional imaging." is more accurately "...albeit using a different "focused field" technique that eventually proved a technical dead-end." At the time, nothing was "conventional". Also, "...the "focused field" approach he advocated proved to be unusable" is misleading. IMHO "not commercially-viable" is a better description. Without comment, I have also given links to both the New York Times article on Damadian's patent fight and to Cope's paper on MRI in muscle and brain tissue. Pproctor 19:19, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Further comment on sources: In a court of law, several kinds of information are admittable per se under the "hearsay rule". One is a "government document", which is what the formal NSF inquiry into the history of MRI is. Another is a "journal of record", such as the New York Times. While supplimenting it somewhat, I have attempted to limit my information primarily to what is contained in such sources and cited them. Pproctor 18:34, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Carr and MRI[edit]

IMHO, you cannot talk about Damadian without also mentioning Herman Carr. So why do you-all keep censoring the fact that there was another claimant for the third position besides Damadian. At the very least, this gives some perspective. E.g., who can blame Damadian for making a fuss when Carr did also? To me, the real problem is that the Nobel Prize does not reflect the reality of science.

In fact, the way the Noble citation is written, Carr arguably has a better claim than Damadian, since he really truly did originate the presently-used technique and made the first MRI. I suspect that had Lauderbur acknowledged Carr, he would not have been able to patent anything. The NSF history notes this "prior art" indirectly. Allegedly, Einstein (or sombody) once said that "the secret of genious is hiding your sources". Pproctor 22:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Was Damadian "Whining"?[edit]

Sigh, another rollback. A cite accuses Damadian of "whining", rightfully noting that others equally-deserving have kept quite after being similarly passed over by the Noble prize committee. This in itself is pretty strong "editorial opinion". In fact, it is essentially an attack on Damadian for not rolling over and being a team player.

To give balance, I pointed out that when this happens the Nobel Foundation comes rather close to violating the local Scandinavian rules concerning scientific misconduct. Naturally, I gave a link to a published paper on those rules. Nothing wrong with complaining about putative scientific misconduct

This situation again exposes a systematic problem with the Nobel award and one that might be resolved if more people complained like Damadian and Carr. Similarly, The Universal Declaration of Human rights endorses ones right to the "moral" rewards of intellectual property. In such circumstances, registered complaints are quite reasonable. Pproctor 20:22, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

You're not allowed original research, aimless speculation, and in this case using bizarre tangential justification for that original research. — Dunc| 20:58, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Sure I can speculate and give a POV, as long as I can back it up with appropriate references and links, which I can. E.g., when I noted that Noble committee technically sometimes commits scientific misconduct, I gave a link to a Lancet paper on the the Scandinavian rules.
Evidently, you did not even read my posting before reverting it. Here it is again: ("Handling of scientific dishonesty in the Nordic countries",Lancet. 1999;354(9172):57-61)-- Click on Lancet article. Note the title. I read this journal, BTW.
Trying to avoid being too confrontational, but you are wrong about how Wikipedia works. Go reread the local rules here. Everything is supposed to be pretty free wheeling and with all points of view. Pproctor 21:30, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Dunc is wrong about how Wikipedia works? The likelihood of that being true is roughly the equivalent of you being able to tell me where precisely a particle in motion will be 10 seconds from now. I'd suggest you do some substantial reading of the policies, guidelines, etc. Should you do so, you'll realise that "speculation" by an editor is not allowed under the WP:NOR policy. If someone else speculates, and if the source meets the criteria for WP:VER and WP:RS you may report on the speculation so long as the WP:NPOV policy is adhered to. This is how Wikipedia works.
    • Later note: Dunch recently got banned more or less permanently from Wikipedia, a difficult accomplishment. Apparently, for this very behavior. Do you still maintain that he is so cognizant of how Wikipedia works? The thing speaks for itself-- there are boundries here and he is stepping way over them. Pproctor 01:20, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
      • Um, excuse me? Dunc isn't banned- he has left Wikipedia under his own volition because he had other things to do and was tired of dealing with issues like this. JoshuaZ 01:26, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
        • Ah. so that's it. Dunch's disappeance was so sudden, mysterious, and in the teeth of so many complaints from so many editors that I figured he had undergone some sort of ban. Maybe he did or was told by management to go. Strange things happen here<G>. Still, it is consistent. Over the last several months, Dunch did a plausible imitation of someone progressively undergoing a psychotic break. If this is what finally took him away from us. I wish him a quick recovery.Pproctor 23:09, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
BTW, your writing also tends toward the casual which is hardly appropriate for an encyclopedia. •Jim62sch• 11:09, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Have you got it wrong. I haven't looked at "the rules" for a couple of years, mainly because I have not had reason too. But here is what Wikipedia:NPOV dispute currently sez: "Neutrality here at Wikipedia is all about presenting competing versions of what the facts are. It doesn't matter at all how convinced we are that our facts are the facts. If a significant number of other interested parties really do disagree with us, no matter how wrong we think they are, the neutrality policy dictates that the discussion be recast as a fair presentation of the dispute between the parties....."
"Historians commonly cite many sources in books because there are and will always be disputes over history. Contributors on Wikipedia can do the same thing, thus giving readers a broad spectrum of POVs and opinions...." Pproctor 23:50, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The rules say no original research. The link between the two is tentative at best, and as you demonstrate in your own whine, you have a POV to push. — Dunc| 16:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Very nice research, Dunc. This certainly will require placing very close scrutiny on all of Proctor's edits. •Jim62sch• 00:38, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Later addition: Love it. Note the threat, which was carried out--- Cross the usual suspects and they will vandalize your other edits on Wikipedia. A very bad thing, totally against the rules and guidlines and what may have gotten Dunch permanetly banned. What astounds me is that they state it so openly. Pproctor 01:20, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Er, the title of the page "/whine.htm" was a self-depricating joke on myself which seems to have gone over your respective heads. I was amused because it is the thing Damadian is accused of. To leven matters, I myself pointed it out. You people ought to drink more decaf. 03:55, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I now undersand what " This certainly will require placing very close scrutiny on all of Proctor's edits." means. Payback city.
In retrospect, it is an overt threat and a promise of retribution for daring to attempt to neutralize the POV here. BTW, my first post here, I was accussed of "vandalism and of being a "creationist". Rather laughable, since I am a well-known figure in human evolutionary biology, having published one of the few examples of classic Darwinian evolution in humans [1].
After this, Dunc and this clique (they all post around the creationist type pages) seems to have systematically searched out and reverted as many posts of mine as they could find elsewhere as payback. This very act is very much against all the rules here. Moreover, acting in concert this way is treated under Wikipedia:sockpuppets as the same thing a bunch of meatpuppets. In this and other cases, Dunch seems to have gone too far and now appears to have been banned. Pproctor 19:31, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Back and forth[edit]

<What Scandinavian rules concerning scientific misconduct? You're not allowed to speculate. You're not allowed original research.>

I gave the reference and a link to it. Here it is again: ("Handling of scientific dishonesty in the Nordic countries",Lancet. 1999;354(9172):57-61)-- Click on Lancet article. Note the title. I read this journal, BTW.

Not intending to start a flame war, but if you are going to revert, please at least read what you are reverting.

<Also, far as I can tell there is a huge difference between Carr politely pointing out that his contribution may have been overlooked, and Damadian arrogantly whinging to the world how he was slighted.>

Good for Damadian, whatever his case. It is about time that somebody complained loud and long about this situation. Actually, if you read Carr's letter, it is much stronger than Damadian's protest, if not nearly as loud. He essentially accuses the Nobel winners of citation plagarism. In a dignified way, naturally.

<The article is also primarily about Damadian, not Carr.>

You can't talk about Damadian without talking about the Nobel. You can't talk about the Nobel without talking about Herman Carr. Otherwise, the flavor of this complete screw-up gets lost.

<And why are you linking to talk pages?>

Didn't realize this was a no-no. Mainly, because of the heated argument about the Nobel there. Pproctor 20:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Re "It is about time that somebody complained loud and long about this situation." See WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_soapbox -- we don't do advocacy here. That's what blogs are for. •Jim62sch• 11:12, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Why the reversion of the Damadian page?[edit]

The issue was raised about Damadian and Carr's protests over the Nobel being "whining". I was merely trying to put this in perspective and neutralize the POV by noting the importance society gives to proper assignment of discovery credit. I gave two examples with proper citations and links-- The local Scandinavian rules defining scientific misconduct and Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pray tell, what is wrong with this and why can it not be discussed on the talk page? If you have a case, lets talk about it here, according to the Wikipedia guidelines. Drive-by reversions are not only tacky, they are potentially sabotage and vandalism. Pproctor 16:56, 12 August 2006 (UTC).

The "importance society gives to proper assignment of discovery credit"? For the most part "society" (depending on which definition you are using) doesn't much give a fig. The "local Scandinavian rules"? I doubt all four Scandanavian (strict definition; five if you include Finland) countries have the same rules, and your source was valid only for Denmark. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is nice and all that, but not really valid for purposes of the Nobel award.
Additionally, I'd back off on the sabotage and vandalism nonsense were I you. First, sabotage of what? (Not that we have a category for that, but I'll humour you and pretend that we do). Also, you need to look up WP:VAND to get a handle on what constitutes vandalism. Note, for example, "... adding a personal opinion once is not vandalism — it's just not helpful, and should be removed or restated." (emphasis added). However you've offered (added in violation of policy, edit-warred over, etc) the same personal opinion several times [2] [3] [4] [5], thus it is you who is at the very least on the brink of vandalism. •Jim62sch• 11:34, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Contrary to your purely personal opinion, society ( if you like, "Science at large" } clearly cares about discovery credit. First, it is an important part of the reward system in science. E.g., see Garfield's discussion of "citation Vigilance". Otherwise why do you think there is all this fuss? Research types certainly are not in it for the money. You have to give them something. Napoleon once marveled that men would risk their lives for little bits of ribbon and metal. Scientists are no different. Likewise, the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights states "Universal" principles.
Second, the article I linked to gave the details of all the Scandinavian countries, not just Denmark. So, clearly you did not even read it or did not understand it if you did. As the article notes, the other Scandinavian countries base their system for dealing with scientific misconduct on the Danish one, which was the first. They just broaden it.
So it is reasonable to beleive that the other Scandinavian systems also think scientific misconduct includes giving "a false credit or emphasis to a scientist". The point being that, at least in Scandinavia, "Science" values proper assignment of discovery credit. Further, not doing this properly can be "misconduct", if willful or grossly negligent. i'm just being mischevious, when I point out that sometimes the Noble foundation breaks the local rules.
As for "vandalism". I have posted on Wiki for years, anonymously until very recently. I thought I had a reasonable grasp of how things work and never got into fights with anybody. I would polish their stuff and they would polish mine.
Then, I came on the Damadian page and corrected a few factual errors. Mostly because I have personal aquaintance with some of the facts and people and thus know which sources are correct. First thing, I got threatened with getting thrown off for "vandalism". Then I find everything I post getting reverted no matter what kind of documentation, citation, etc. I provide. Further, it is abundantly clear that the revertees often don't even bother to read the links and cites, etc. So I figure if correcting a few factual errors is "vandalism", then what you-all are doing is even more so.
Similarly, the Wiki "rules" get thrown in my face here in ways that reflect neither the spirit nor the letter of those rules. E.g., when backed by cites, personal opinion is OK, particularly when it gives balance and neutralizes the POV. Pretty much everything on Wiki is personal opinion of some sort. It is the competing opinions and the cites that give balance.
Obviously, a cite calling Damadian a "whiner" is a purely subjective personal opinion to which you seem to have no objection. I don't object to it per se. This is because, though I differ, it gives a flavor of just how controversial Damadian is. Rather than removing it, I balanced the POV by providing specific examples of how much "Society" values the proper assignment of discovery credit, which is what Damadian seeks. OTOH, you only counter this by asserting personal opinion, which is what you incorrectly accuse me of doing. Properly speaking, you should refute me by also providing cites indicating that "Science" really goesn't care about proper assignment of discovery credit and thus Damadian really is a "whiner". Go for it. Pproctor 16:59, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Personal opinion had nothing to do with it -- as I noted, you did not define society, and now choose to define it as "Science at large". Society as a general term does not carry that definition. Specificty is the key to avoiding "miscommunication", you might want to try beig very specific in future.
"Based on" and "are bound by" are two different things, thus my point.
It's Nobel, not Noble.  ;) Nonetheless, whether Scandanavian countries value giving scientific credit where the credit is due is irrelevant unless one can prove that Carr and Damadian were actually cheated in some way. Most, if not all, Nobels in Chemistry, Physics, etc., are given to people who have expanded upon the works of others or upon previous theories.
Re vandalism -- I guess you missed a point or two, eh? Wiki has an ever-expanding base of guidelines and policies, so that's to be expected.
"Pretty much everything on Wiki is personal opinion of some sort." -- uh, no. Unless we're going to get into a philosophical discussion regarding whether humans can truly be objective, I'm afraid that point isn't truly valid. Besides, the issue is not that of personal views, but rather one of original reasearch (if I remember correctly).
Your last paragraph ties in with the first -- you did not define society as the scientific community. Had you done so, I'd have agreed with you. Note that I qualified my statement by saying, ".."society" (depending on which definition you are using)..." Qualifications exist for a reason, and had you paid attention to mine you'd've noted that I was indicating that you'd not defined the word. Could have saved us both a lot of keystrokes. •Jim62sch• 21:46, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
It really doesn't matter how you define "society". Wherever you want to encourage innovation, correct assignment of discovery credit plays an important role across the board, E.g., One of the few powers delegated to the Feds in the original US constitution was a patent system. "To encourage manufacturs", IIRC. Patents are inherently based upon priority claims. In science itself, discovery credit is one non-economic reward you can use to get those poor PhD drudges to work all those years for practically nothing. Otherwise, they would go to medical school, or whatever. You want to maintain at least the illusion it is fairly distributed.
But the issue is whether Damadian was "whining" in complaining about being excluded from the Nobel (yes, I know about to spell "NOBEL"-- in the course of typing this, I have mistyped "sceince", and "frmo", which I also know how to spell correctly).
The point is, whatever your feelings toward his claims, Damadian has a case for loud complaining because a Nobel can so throughly distort the history of discovery, a very important thing. Remember, there is a very good colorable argument that the Noble Foundation regularly violates the local Swedish rules concerning science misconduct. As a private institution, they can give the prize to a red-assed baboon, if they like, but they cannot thereby distort the history of discovery without some serious ethical violations. As the "whining" article notes, Damadian is not alone in being worked over this way, he is just the most vociferous protestor. Just maybe, this system needs reforming.
Finally, I have been following Wikipedia since it was Nupedia. You had to be a PhD to even post. Sic: " The bar to become a Nupedia contributor was relatively high, with the policy stating, "We wish editors to be true experts in their fields and (with few exceptions) possess Ph.D.s." So clearly "expert opinion" was solicited, as it continues to be. See. e.g.uric acid. This proved too cumbersome (IIRC, 24 entries in 2 years), so they opened the separate Wiki up to non-experts, trusting that the continued interplay would assure veracity. Which is what I am trying to do. Pproctor 00:57, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

The reply is below:

Damadians Claims[edit]

Actually, it does depeend on how you define society. In America, non-scientists don't get all choked up about whether a scientist gets credit -- of course, most Americans don't know squat about science anyway (one of America's biggest problems), but that's a separate issue. The noble/nobel bit was a joke, hence the emoticon.
In all honesty, I really don't have an opinion about Damadian's claims, the validity of which is hardly proven. I can see both sides, in all honesty; however I bristle at Wikipedia being used as a soapbox for Damadian's claims. As for the whining issue, the quote meets both WP:V and WP:RS and is used to present balance. If you can find a better quote that is critical of the claims, feel free to add it. •Jim62sch• 11:16, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

You have to reward people for making innovations. Otherwise, they will find something better to do. As article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights alludes to, these rewards can be either "material" (i.e money) or "moral". "Moral" includes intangibles like the reconition of peers and public, the historical record, etc.. BTW, there is a priority squabble over just who came up with Wikipedia. See History of Wikipedia.

Likewise, cash rewards take care of themselves-- Damadian is apparently fairly wealthy. But you must maintain the public credibility of the "moral" reward system. The Nobel business is just the tip of the iceberg. E.g., Alexander Grothendieck's letter declining the Crafoord Prize in mathematics. If Damadian was "whining", it is about time somebody did. Even the writer who accused Damadian of whining justifies this by noting many others got the same treatment and didn't publically-complain. Arguably, if the Nobel system is compromised, people ought to know it.

Incidentally, as the Nobel citation is written, I believe that Herman Carr has a little better claim to the prize. BTW, I'll bet you-all didn't know about Carr until I brought him up. Or just how complex this whole story is. E.g., you can't talk about Damadian without talking about the Nobel and you can't talk about the Noble without also mentioning Carr's claims.

But, the Nobel issue aside, there is no question that Damadian has a good colorable argument for having initiated the whole Medical MRI business. Or at least the "structured water" people do, of whom Damadian is the best representative. This field, to which I contributed in a minor way, laid the basis for MRI by establishing tissue differences in relaxation times. The rest was just engineering based on Carr's technology and a bit of programming<G>. I am just trying to tell the story as it happened. Pproctor 15:12, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

More $.02 worth. My links to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Lancet article on the handling of scientific misconduct in the Scandinavian countries establish the key importance of discovery credit (to scientists at least-- you may not be one). Thus, they are a sufficient reply to claims that Damadian was "whining". If you do not understand this, just leave them as harmless. Pproctor 18:41, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Look, I know you firmly believed that Damadian was cheated, but the purpose of Wiki is not for advocacy meant to right a perceived or alleged wrong. •Jim62sch• 22:04, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
Sigh. Wikipedia-founder Larry Sanger (see below) is right. This is what happens when you open up the Wiki to all the riff-raff. They sabotage on controversial issues and drive off the experts who establish the boundry-conditions and make this thing work. A medical aphorism goes: "There ain't no cure for the dumb-ass". Lissen-up. I'm not going to repeat myself.
Again, as I very clearly note above, I think Herman Carr has a slightly better case for the third Nobel spot, as the Noble citation is written. BTW, apparently nobody here knew of Carr's parallel claims until I brought them up, even though they are perfect fodder for the anti-Damadian case. One illustration of the utility of "expertise".
A subjective issue anyway. My concern here is whether Damadian was justified in the way he objected. I am just attempting to present citations establishing how important the proper assignment of discovery credit is in the Western intellectual tradition. This is to balance another citation accusing Damadian of "whining". All proper according to "the rules".Pproctor 17:40, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Larry Sanger on "Expertise"[edit]

Larry Sanger, a founder of Wikipedia, sez: " The fact that people of all levels of knowledge about many different subjects are working together more or less as equals on the project does not mean all of their opinions on all subjects are of equal weight. If my old dissertation adviser, an expert on George Berkeley, shows up and points out that Berkeley believed such-and-such, then, unless we've got good reason to dispute this, we should just nod our virtual heads in agreement (for now). This is just common sense, but sometimes common sense needs to be spelled out! --Larry_Sanger

Retrieved from "" Pproctor 15:52, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Larry Sanger Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its Anti-Elitism

"My point is that, regardless of whether Wikipedia actually is more or less reliable than the average encyclopedia, it is not perceived as adequately reliable by many librarians, teachers, and academics. The reason for this is not far to seek: those librarians etc. note that anybody can contribute and that there are no traditional review processes."

"The root problem: anti-elitism, or lack of respect for expertise. There is a deeper problem--or I, at least, regard it as a problem--which explains both of the above-elaborated problems. Namely, as a community, Wikipedia lacks the habit or tradition of respect for expertise. As a community, far from being elitist (which would, in this context, mean excluding the unwashed masses), it is anti-elitist (which, in this context, means that expertise is not accorded any special respect, and snubs and disrespect of expertise is tolerated)"

"Consequently, nearly everyone with much expertise but little patience will avoid editing Wikipedia, because they will--at least if they are editing articles on articles that are subject to any sort of controversy--be forced to defend their edits on article discussion pages against attacks by nonexperts...."

Dr P sez: Ain't that the truth...

"....To attact and retain the participation of experts, there would have to be little patience for those who do not understand or agree with Wikipedia's mission, or even for those pretentious mediocrities who are not able to work with others constructively and recognize when there are holes in their knowledge (collectively, probably the most disruptive group of all). A less tolerant attitude toward disruption would make the project more polite, welcoming, and indeed open to the vast majority of intelligent, well-meaning people on the Internet. As it is, there are far fewer genuine experts involved in the project (though there are some, of course) than there could and should be."

"Nevertheless, everyone familiar with Wikipedia can now see the power of the basic Wikipedia idea and the crying need to get more experts on board and a publicly credible review process in place (so that there is a subset of "approved" articles--not a heavy-handed, complicated process, of course). The only way Wikipedia can achieve these things is to jettison its anti-elitism and to moderate its openness to trolls and fools;..."

Pproctor 16:38, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Now you're whining. It's not about elitism, it is about the fact that you can't do original research, and then climb on your soap box and whinge about an appeal to authority. General Nolledge 15:48, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I do original research just fine. In fact, in my other life, people pay me very big bucks to do it. Here, it just keeps getting erased.
Sanger says it best: "..The only way Wikipedia can achieve these things is to jettison its anti-elitism and to moderate its openness to trolls and fools;...".
BTW, from your other postings, you seem to have something against the creationists. So do I.
In fact, I once published an absolutely germinal paper on human evolution in the journal Nature. See it on-line here. Not everyone gets to give the last word on a human evolutionary biology question raised by JBS Haldane. But on the principle that "even a blind hog finds the occasional acorn", I give Raymond Damadian due credit for his MRI work. Pproctor 21:37, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure that you're original research is fine. IRL, I do OR, too, in the realm of information science. But, in the Wikiworld I don't do OR, because it's proscribed. Nor do I advocate for certain positions for the same reason. Besides, whatever Wiki may have been in the past is nice insofar as history goes, but has no inherent value to what Wiki is. •Jim62sch• 22:12, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Don't make me laugh by denying taking a position. Similarly, history and original intent count. Remember, I've been following this since Neupedia. So don't try to p!ss in my ear and tell me its raining about "the rules". I have watched them evolve.

Larry Sanger was Right[edit]

BTW, the requirement for citations (no problem for me-- my area of expertise, etc.) came about to set limits because Neupedia opened up its Wiki to everyone. This includes, as Larry Sanger so elegantly notes, "trolls and fools". One common troll and fool abuse seems to be to deny any cites that happen to differ with their own personal opinion. Too bad. As Sanger also notes, such abuses drive off the people who really know the stuff and makes Wikipedia useless for controversial issues.Pproctor 00:42, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Sanger is also not here anymore. Nonetheless, let me make this crystal clear: I don't give a flying fuck about Damadian, on the other hand, I do care about NPOV. Thank you. •Jim62sch• 00:46, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

True enough. Larry Sanger is gone. But many of Sanger's policies remain. There are, e.g., some "expert" tags, one of which is as follows.


Perhaps we need one here besides me.

Similarly, in Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines "Goals of Wikipedia" "Our goal with Wikipedia is to create a free encyclopedia. Hence it is common on Wikipedia for policy itself to be debated on talk pages, on Wikipedia: namespace pages, on the mailing lists, on Meta Wikimedia, and on IRC chat. Everyone is welcome to participate." — Larry Sanger

Too bad you-all missed my point that posting a cite accusing Damadian of "Whining" leaves a non-neutral point of view that I was attempting to correct. Also see Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Personal information from the individual is admissible. Finally, why did someone remove the "disputed" tag. My impression is that it is supposed to stay until we hash this out. Pproctor 06:10, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Too bad that you cannot see that you have gone way beyond trying to correct it. Too bad that you still fail to realise that OR is not allowed. •Jim62sch• 11:14, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

NPOV: Expert editors "No original research" does not prohibit experts on a specific topic from adding their knowledge to Wikipedia. On the contrary, Wikipedia welcomes the contributions of experts, as long as their knowledge is verifiable. We assume, however, that someone is an expert not only because of their personal and direct knowledge of a topic, but also because of their knowledge of published sources on a topic. This policy prohibits expert editors from drawing on their personal and direct knowledge if such knowledge is unverifiable. If an expert editor has published the results of his or her research elsewhere, in a reputable publication, the editor can cite that source while writing in the third person and complying with our NPOV policy. They must cite reliable, third-party publications and may not use their unpublished knowledge, which would be impossible to verify. We hope expert editors will draw on their knowledge of published sources to enrich our articles, bearing in mind that specialists do not occupy a privileged position within Wikipedia." Pproctor 04:44, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad you found that. Abide by it. •Jim62sch• 15:23, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
That goes for everybody. Apparently in retribution for our spat here, Dunc has been crawling Wikpedia deleting my editorial product everwhere he can find it. His excuse is "vanity", because I cited my own publications in just the matter allowed in the above rule. Real vandalism. You-all ought to read this stuff before citing it at me. Wikipedia really is designed to be pretty free and open.
Post scriptum: Now I well understand what your statement " This certainly will require placing very close scrutiny on all of Proctor's edits." means. It was a threat to vandalize all my posts elsewhere, which you-all preceeded to do. Very much against all the rules, which you proport to be enforcing. I note that Dunch seems to have been banned for this and his other shenanegans. See any more of it, I'm going to the arb committee with your incriminating statement and the documentable facts of this episode. Wikipedia:sockpuppets treats such concerted actions as just like a bunch of meatpuppets. Pproctor 19:40, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Using the subject as a source[edit]

FYI, As long as we are being legalistic (you-all started it), here's another rule, allowing the use of personal communications in the specific case of bios. From: Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons

In some cases the subject may become involved in an article. They may edit it themselves or have a representative of theirs edit it. They may contact Wikipedians either through the article's talk page or via email. Or, they may provide information through press releases, a personal website or blog, or an autobiography. When information supplied by the subject conflicts with unsourced statements in the article, the unsourced statements should be removed.

Information supplied by the subject may be added to the article if:

  • It is relevant to the person's notability;
  • It is not contentious;
  • It is not unduly self-serving;
  • It does not involve claims about third parties, or about events not directly related to the subject;
  • There is no reasonable doubt that it was written by the subject.

Corrected factual error[edit]

With some trepidation, I just corrected a factual error (Damadian was a SUNY professor in 1971, not a Harvard graduate student). I also rearranged the syntax a little. Hopefully, I have not sturred up the usual and customary hornet's nest here.Pproctor (talk) 03:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Link to NP controversies[edit]

The dispute needs to be put in some more context, a brief comparison by the main author to the history of Nobel controversies may help. As the link shows, disputes over NPs are neither odd nor unusual but common and have haunted the prize since its inception. Perhaps a message was being sent by the prize committee. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 9 October 2012 (UTC)