Medicine: Man of the Soil

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Selman Waksman is a soil expert, but he cannot find time for gardening; he is an authority on marine microorganisms, but he never goes fishing. He plugs away at his molds, has written some 300 scientific papers and half a dozen books, spends much of his time away from the laboratory poring over scientific books. He occasionally reads a novel, but is bored unless it has "social values." ("Relations of man to man," he says, "are as important as relations of microbe to microbe.")

He likes to travel, and has returned several times to Russia to lecture, most recently in 1946. He was, he thinks, one of the last U.S. scientists to visit the Soviet Union. He still feels that men of science are the best hope for bringing understanding between nations. But trying to peddle that idea in the U.S.S.R., he says, was like "a voice crying in the wilderness."

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