Before 1921, a diagnosis of Type-1 diabetes was a sentence of death. That’s worth repeating. Death. How many diabetics do you know who now lead normal, happy productive lives, thanks to the work of the scientists who developed it and the companies who still produce it so diligently today?
To celebrate this achievement we’re linking to that marvellous charity Diabetes UK (bet there’s someone like this in your country) Their timeline not only tells the story of the breakthrough, but also offers some insights into the scientific method. which not only gave us usable insulin but also the computer which you are reading this on.
Build your team Insulin was the product of collaboration between Banting, Best and Macleod, initially You can do science on your own, but the lone mind is all too likely to fall into delusion and error. Darwin, Newton and Einstein were quick to note their dues to others.
Prepare for a slog After months of planning, laboratory experiments started in May 2021. They lasted a long time. Those who read the internet and call it “research” take note
First results are just that The first real positives did not come until November, and even then the team were quick to recognise these were relatively small. Humility is a great virtue, and the best minds know that they have more of it than most people.
Canada is an interesting place Back in the last century we were plagued by those who opined “Canada-best place in the world to live, but nothing has ever happened there!” After insulin, we beg to differ.
Extend your team After the initial success the original team brought in James Collip to help with purification, production and quality
Mass production This didn’t occur until 1922, after thorough testing and quality control.
Peer recognition The success of the team was so very obvious, and the relief of human sorrow so patently undeniable that they were awarded their Nobels in 1923, way ahead of the ten to fifteen year gap most scientists can expect.
The world today is plagued by the postings of cranks and conspiracists. They have a variety of obsessions, but two things in common. The first an utter inability to distinguish between fact and opinion. The second, an ignorance of the rules of logic and critical thinking, which are available at one click of a mouse  The way to get back at these people is not to waste time on them, but to contribute to the work of scientists, doctors and honest seekers after truth, such as Banting and Best. In honour of what they did, and the suffering they have saved, please look seriously at the Diabetes UK website, or the one you have in your own country.
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