Doctor takes ads to say he should have won

By Dan Gledhill
Tuesday 15 October 2013 10:11

An American doctor has attacked the result of this year's Nobel prize for medicine, saying that he should have been given a share of the award.

Dr Raymond Damadian, who owns a patent on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times yesterday and The Washington Postthe day before, referring to the prize, which was given to scientists from Britain and America, as "The Shameful Wrong That Must Be Righted".

The advertisement said the professors who won the prize, Paul Lauterbur of the University of Illinois and Sir Peter Mansfield of the University of Nottingham, made technological advances based on Dr Damadian's work.

"When the announcement came out, my reaction was that I had been robbed of 33 years of my identity," said Dr Damadian, 67, president and founder of Fonar Corporation. "The Nobel committee is rewriting history and is engaged in a revision of history."

Dr Damadian discovered in 1970 that differences between cancerous tissue and normal tissue could be identified using nuclear magnetic resonance, a precursor to MRI technology. His company makes and designs MRI scanners that allow patients to stand up during the procedure.

Jealousy and complaints over Nobel laureates are common, but public displays of disappointment and criticism such as Dr Damadian's are not.

In Stockholm, Hans Jornvall, secretary of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute, which picks the winner in medicine, said he was convinced the award was correct and added that a Nobel prize could not be appealed against.

"This is the first time that I have heard of somebody taking out an advertisement," Mr Jornvall said. "Science is my life. I would like it always to be happy but this situation is clearly not happy."

Dr Damadian said that, apart from his personal grievance, he believed the Nobel committee had shown "wanton disregard for the truth" over the years. He accused the panel of deliberately excluding him from the award worth $1.3m (£800,000).

"They did what they did fully knowing the evil of what they were doing. They have a place for three awardees and they had to go out of their way to explicitly exclude me," he said.

The newspaper advertisement, which includes an inverted Nobel medal, quotes Dr Damadian's colleagues and the authors of several books about MRI technology.

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