Facts are stubborn things, and “official” propaganda is still propaganda
So, it finally happened. And with the announcement came yet another wave of troll and bot attacks on my credibility. Coupled with social media calls for me to comment on the event. Commenting on which I am generally not comfortable with, because I am not prone to pettiness. Jill and I gave ourselves a day to just breathe, discuss the meaning and implications, and process and respond to the many kind, supportive comments and condolences from friends and colleagues from all over the world.
First off, congratulations to Drs. Kariko and Weissman. This award comes on top of having received the Lasker award, and similar awards from the governments of Spain and Israel.
A day in, I think that the proper way to approach commenting on this is to examine the truthfulness of the official statements made by the Nobel Committee concerning their decision.
First off, the core position that has been taken is to not assert that Kariko and Weissman were the originators or inventors of the use of mRNA to elicit an immune response (vaccination). I suppose that there is a small modicum of validation in that. As I have often had to explain in so, so many podcasts and press interviews, inventorship of the manufacturing, structure and use of mRNA for vaccine purposes was long ago determined by the US Patent and Trademark office, with many US and foreign patents issued based on the work of myself (1987- 1991) and colleagues (1990-1991), all of which (including the initial invention disclosures which I solo authored) list me as an inventor. That fact is not disputed by the Nobel committee. It is extremely unusual for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to not recognize those that originated the ideas, technology, and performed initial proof of concept. This appears to have been circumvented in this case by limiting the scope of the award to the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines themselves, and not to the discoveries and inventorship of the platform technology.