N e w a r k E v e n i n g N e w s : N o v e m b e r 1 2 , 1 9 5 2
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Nobel Award Is Criticized
College Says Co-Worker Should Get Mention
A protest has been lodged with the Nobel Committee for Medicine because it awarded its 1952 Nobel Prize to Dr. Selman A. Waksman of Rutgers University for his work in discovering streptomycin without mentioning Dr. Albert Schatz, codiscoverer of that antibiotic.
The protest was lodged by the administration and faculty of National Agricultural College of Doylestown, Pa., where Dr. Schatz is now a member of the faculty. The college expressed "surprise and shock that Dr. Waksman did not bring to the attention of the Nobel committee the fact which he had previously publicly acknowledged that Dr. Schatz is legally and scientifically entitled to credit as co-discoverer with himself of streptomycin."
The public acknowledgment by Dr. Waksman followed a suit in 1950 which Dr. Schatz brought against Dr. Waksman and the Rutgers Research and Endowment Foundation. In addition to acknowledging Dr. Schatz as being "legally and scientifically codiscover," the settlement gave Dr. Schatz $125,000 as a lump sum and $15,000 a year in royalties for the life of the American patent.
Note Earlier Action
The protest noted that Dr. Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, had shared the Nobel prize in 1945 with others who had pioneered in the practical application of that drug.
Dr. Elmer S. Reinthaler, vice president of the agricultural college, said that the administration and faculty had sent an earlier protest October 29, without publicizing the protest here, but had received no reply. Both protests were sent to Professor Coran Liljestrand, secretary of the Nobel committee.
Dr. Reinthaler said that while no direct reply had been received, the Swedish press had carried statements by Nobel Foundation officials that awards are made solely on the basis of scientific publications and are not subject to review.
The second protest directed the attention of the prize committee to three articles in scientific publications in 1944 and 1945 in which Dr. Schatz and Dr. Waksman were named as coauthors and codiscoverers and which discussed streptomycin.
The second protest concluded:
"We think you will agree with us that mere procedural technicalities should not permit what would constitute a serious injustice to a scientist and conceal from the scientific and lay world the facts surrounding the discovery of streptomycin."