Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Forging New Ways to Look at Life is Not Always Easy

The vindication of the work of Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman, who was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for chemistry, points up the fact that genius is not always met with understanding and maintaining one’s personal integrity is often not “comfortable.”

Reuters reports:  ” An Israeli scientist who suffered years of ridicule and even lost a research post for claiming to have found an entirely new class of solid material was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday for his discovery of quasicrystals.”

“His discovery was extremely controversial,” said the Nobel Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which granted him the 10-million crown ($1.5-million) award. ”However, his battle eventually forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter.”

An example of the criticism that was heaped on him from altitude was quoted in the release: ”Linus Pauling, a colossus of science and double Nobel laureate, mounted a frightening ‘crusade’ against him, saying: ‘There is no such thing as quasicrystals, only quasi-scientists.’”

This calls to mind what L. Ron Hubbard wrote about personal integrity in Scientology a New Slant on Life:

“What is true for you is what you have observed yourself.  And when you lose that, you have lost everything.

“What is personal integrity?  Personal integrity is knowing what you know. What you know is what you know and to have the courage to know and say what you have observed.  And that is integrity and there is no other integrity.”