ThomasJoined: January 30, 2007Status: OfflinePosts: 94Rep:
Controversy Over A Brilliant -- But Sick! -- Mind Tue Feb 6, 2007 6:59:52 AM#33682Perm Link
This article is not strictly science-related, but about some reflections I had concerning an eminent scientist.
W. French Anderson is a pioneer of molecular biology, professor of biochemistry and pediatrics, and more importantly the father of gene therapy. His work has been crucial to the development of treatments for many diseases, and his contribution to the benefit of Mankind has been tremendous.
W. French Anderson is a child molester, guilty of having used his brilliant intellect to coerce a little 9-year-old girl, daughter of one of his research colleague, into sexual activity until she was 14 or so. His impact on the helpless victim has marked her for life and his acts are absolutely despicable.
The Californian justice has condemned him to a 14-year sentence in jail, despite his wife's claim of innocence and his colleagues' plea for more leniency. His wife also stated that this would amount to a death sentence when the other inmates learn the nature of his conviction.
The dilemma here is immense, as we cannot let a child molester walk out free of the courtroom, yet we deprive science of further advancement at the same time.
The American government's justification of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was that the death of 100,000 would save the lives of millions. So, should be allow W. French Anderson to carry on saving thousands, maybe even millions of live after he's destroyed this little girl's -- now a young woman -- life?