Resistance to New Ideas: A Relevant Story from the Past
by John W. Gofman
In the early 1950s, I had a visit in our lab from Professor Sir Howard Florey of Oxford, a co-winner of the Nobel Award for the discovery of the use of penicillin. Dr. Florey wanted to arrange to have Dr. Gervase Mills of his staff spend several months in our laboratory to learn ultracentrifuge-lipoprotein techniques.
In commiserating about the resistance to new ideas, Professor Florey said (as nearly as I can recall his words):
"Let me tell you about a good one ... On the wall above my desk is a framed copy of a letter from the Surgeon-General of the U.S. Army during World War Two. We had offered to share our limited supply of penicillin with the U.S. Army, in appreciation for your country's participation in the war. The Surgeon-General's letter was instructing field offices that under no circumstances should this new stuff called penicillin be used in the treatment of any United States' military casualties!"
And Professor Florey added, "So I know something about resistance to new ideas."
"This is a fabulously important discovery if he can prove it!"
In 1995, in advance of the First Edition of Dr. John Gofman's new book, a correspondent for the BBC contacted him about a different radiation issue. At that time, Dr. Gofman told the correspondent the "bottom line" of the book he was finishing: About 75% of recent, current, and incubating cases of breast-cancer are caused by earlier exposure to medical radiation.
The correspondent promptly consulted with his producer, who said "This is a fabulously important discovery --- if he can prove it."
There are numerous "smoking guns" to support the finding, and they are documented in the book, Preventing Breast Cancer: The Story Of A Major, Proven, Preventable Cause Of This Disease by John W. Gofman, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Gofman has a track-record of being right. For example, he led the group which demonstrated the existence of diverse low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Their work on lipoprotein chemistry and health consequences included the first prospective studies demonstrating that high LDL levels represent a risk-factor for coronary heart disease and that low HDL levels represent a risk-factor for coronary heart disease.
Although resistance to their findings was fierce at first, their work stood the test of time and became very widely accepted.
Now Dr. Gofman's 1995 book identifies earlier medical irradiation as the major cause of the breast-cancer problem in the USA --- and he expects that the finding will be highly unwelcome in some circles of medicine and government. A few individuals may promptly deny the finding without even reading the work. By contrast, the book solicits thoughtful peer-review from objective sources who "read first, judge second." It is worth emphasis that Dr. Gofman's book is fully compatible with roles for additional causes of breast-cancer (see Index: "Co-action of cancer-causes").
There are 182,000 women every year (USA), newly diagnosed with breast-cancer, who want to know, "Why me?" This book can provide an explanation for many of them ... and can help numerous women (and their daughters) to avoid this dreaded disease. Many of the cases which will be diagnosed 10 to 50 years from today, are being induced now.
C.N.R. Books, San Francisco
Pages 379-381 of the book provide more information about the author.