2008 - The only video on Youtube about Sir James
Sir James Black, recipient of the Nobel Prize, died yesterday aged 85. Most of the MSM decided to pay hours of tributes to Harry Carpenter, the BBC sports commentator.
Yet Sir James Black has touched and saved the lives of millions throughout the world. Who was he?
He was born in Cowdenbeath in 1924 and was the fourth of five boys brought up in a Baptist home. His father was a mining engineer and colliery manager so they weren't poor. He admits to daydreaming through his formal schooling but a maths teacher, Dr Watson of Beath High School, was his mentor who was the negotiator of his scholarship to St Andrews.
His subject of choice was medicine. His biography states he 'slowly learned, like a primitive painter, how to be an effective experimenter' and pays much credit to his fellow scientists.
Sir James was Chancellor of Dundee University from 1992 to 2006 and in honour of his work the university built the Sir James Black Centre, a research facility for the investigation of cancer, tropical diseases and diabetes.
In the medical world he is perhaps one of the top three scientists who humans should thank for saving lives. His introduction of beta-blockers to those suffering from angina or heart problems have saved millions of lives, including some of my own family.
He also developed a drug treatment for stomach and duodenal ulcers. The previous treatment was horrendous and operations were mainly unsuccessful.
However, Sir James has been also credited with being the founder of 'big pharma' because his medical treatment involved the production of billions of pills. 'Certainly no man on earth earned more for the international pharmaceutical industry'. He transformed the pharmaceutical industry from one of secrecy to one which worked upon precise biochemical specifications.
While I am suspicious about many medications given to us, I cannot criticise Sir James' treatment for heart problems and stomach ulcers. We have more effective beta-blockers today which save even more lives and that's down to the work of this unassuming, day-dreaming Scot.
I started this post yesterday but realised it would be lost because the MSM were concentrating on Harry Carpenter. This morning I notice Kenneth Roy has written an excellent tribute to the man he knew. I quote from an interview Sir James gave Ken. It took part in front of an audience and this was a question from one of them:
My sincere thanks to the gentleman who has saved and will continue to save the lives of so many.
Note: The video sound isn't too good so turn up your speakers a little.