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Jonas Salk

Developer of Polio Vaccine

There are two great tragedies in life. One is to not get what you want; the other is to get what you want. And if I had gotten what I wanted, it would have been a greater tragedy than my not getting what I wanted, because it allowed me to get something else.
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Jonas Salk

Developer of Polio Vaccine

There are three stages of truth. First, is that it can't be true, and that's what they said. You couldn't immunize against polio with a killed-virus vaccine. Second phase: they say, "Well, if it's true, it's not very important." And, the third stage is, "Well, we've known it all along." What you are describing is the process that you have to go through when you come up with an idea that has not yet been tried or tested.
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Barry Scheck

Co-Founder, Innocence Project

Right after the Marion Coakley case, there was another case involving an individual named Castro in the Bronx. After we did this seminar at Cardozo Law School, one of the people from the public defender's office says, "You guys are very interested in this. Could you do the admissibility hearing? The prosecution wants to prove that blood on Mr. Castro's watch is not his blood, but is actually the blood from the murder victim." So we were initially very suspicious, based on our early dealings with Lifecodes, because we could see that they hadn't published peer-reviewed articles, and they hadn't done some of the basic validation research that you would expect for this technology transfer. So we got the evidence in this case, and we never contested in the Castro case that the exclusion that the blood on the watch wasn't from Castro. Because the way these DNA tests work, you would see these bands. They had what they called a RFLP testing at that time, that had to do with bands going down in a gel and you would see it. The bands were clearly not aligned, then it was an exclusion, and there was no dispute about the exclusion. So we didn't dispute that. But when they said, "Well, these bands that don't look the same are really the same, and then we can make an inference about the statistical significance of that by looking at population genetic evidence." Well, there was some very serious scientific problems with that. So we went to these Cold Spring Harbor seminars, and we started showing what they called the auto rads and some of the data to the scientists there. And we ran into this Dr. Eric Lander who's quite an extraordinary figure, very brilliant man. He was looking at it and he immediately realized, "Oh my God, here we are in the genetics community, and we all believe that this technology transfer is going to work, because it is such a robust technology, and of course DNA testing is going to work." But then, when he saw how this was being misapplied, and they had not done the right validation studies to prove that the things matched, and they hadn't done the population genetics work adequately to give us a real statement about what the significance of it was within certain populations.
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Barry Scheck

Co-Founder, Innocence Project

Barry Scheck: One of the cases that -- in the first decade of the Innocence Project -- involved Kenneth Waters, who was convicted of a murder in Ayer, Massachusetts. When we got involved in the case, there was already his sister, Betty Ann Waters, who is a real hero. Betty Ann had watched Kenny get convicted in this small town where they grew up and they both were raised in total poverty. She was a mother with two children, a GED. And her brother is saying, "Well, I want you to become a lawyer to get me out of jail. You are the only person I trust. And otherwise, I am going to commit suicide," was essentially the bargain he made with her. So sure enough, Betty Ann, eventually becoming a single mom with two kids, went to college and then went to law school, all for the purpose of getting her brother out of jail. And near the end of it, she called the Innocence Project, and me in particular, to assist her in the end in trying to get Kenny out of jail, and she did. She is a wonderful inspirational figure, and he was a great guy. He was funny and full of life, and tragically died just a few months after we got him out.
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Barry Scheck

Co-Founder, Innocence Project

One of the areas that really brings it home is a case I did in 1996 in Boston, involving Louise Woodward, the so-called nanny, that got a lot of international attention. And this was a case where Louise was charged with murder for the death of young Matthew Eappen, who was one of two children that she was watching. When Matthew presented in the hospital, he had a skull fracture, a subdural hematoma, and he literally had the equivalent of what looks like a stroke. He had a hypoxic ischemic incident. His brain was swelling when he was admitted to the hospital. And the doctors reasoned, from looking at these symptoms, that what must have happened is that his head was smashed against a fixed hard surface at 26 miles an hour. Otherwise you couldn't get a skull fracture. And because they saw subdural hematomas, and retinal hemorrhages, and shearing of the white matter of the brain, they said, "Ah-ha! This must have meant that he was shaken as hard as an adult can shake, with the head snapping back and forth, for about a minute-and-a-half." And it turned out that when we finally did this trial, and brought in the scientists that originally had written all the articles about shaken baby syndrome, they said, "Well, first of all, I can't believe that you're misinterpreting our article. If you see a subdural hematoma, and shearing of the white matter of the brain, and a skull fracture, that can account for a lot of the things that we used to think was caused by shaking alone," because they did a big study on this. And that doesn't mean that the baby's head was he was shaken for a minute-and-a-half with his head snapping back and forth where you ordinarily would see injury to the back, to the spinal cord, which you didn't see in this case. So there was a lot of misinterpretation of some of the fundamental articles that were the foundation for this. So we brought those scientists back in to testify in that case.
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Fritz Scholder

Native American Artist

You have to realize that at times art was really pretty foreign. For most people, an artist meant going to Paris and starving in a garret. No one was making a living in this country, except for Georgia O'Keeffe and Thomas Hart Benton. And so, what one did was to get degrees and teach at a university, and if you were good, you might be able to get an artist-in-residency. So, it was pretty bleak to think that you could be an artist. Although I, right from the beginning, identified as that, and won my first prize in fourth grade.
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Fritz Scholder

Native American Artist

My second review was not that good, which shouldn't have surprised me, because if you have a great review to start, the odds are that the second one may not be so good. And I was so embarrassed, I didn't want to leave the house. I thought, oh, man, everyone read this, and they just think I'm, you know, dumb. But you soon realize that it is the self-integrity in the studio that counts. And if you have that, it doesn't matter what any reviewer says, or writes, or anyone else, and you have to, in fact, realize that the last people you want to even listen to are those closest to you. They are well-meaning, but because they're close to you they can hurt you as far as your own idea, or view of what you're doing. It's all up to you.
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