Earlier this week, Peter Palese visited our Uni (he made it through Oklahomas version of hazing: a night of tornadoes, LOL!).

I gotta say, man, that guy might be one of the biggest names in influenza/virology research. He might have a few hundred publications. He might be a member of the National Academy. But that guy? Peter Palese? Hes got the heart of a BLAGGER!

He gossiped with us students at lunch about kook scientists and anti-vaxers and snake-oil salesmen, it was so much fun! Heres my favorite story 🙂

Back in the day, when Dr. Palese was cutting his teeth as a scientist, Linus Pauling was still a credible guy. So Palese spent a lot of time/effort/money on investigating how Vitamin C could help us battle influenza. Why not, right? Nobel Prize winner thinks its a good idea!

… yeah, it was a massive waste of time.


His view on Vitamin C and influenza in a recent interview about swine flu:

Can vitamin C help?
A lot of people swear by vitamin C, but there is very little evidence that it works. But there is a placebo effect, which can be useful.



He would have made such a snarky blogger…

You all can check him out on ’60 Minutes’ last year talking about swine flu (video).


  1. #1 qetzal
    May 12, 2010

    I saw Pauling talk when I was a grad student. By then, he was firmly in the grip of his orthomolecular woo. It was genuinely depressing to watch.

  2. #2 Tatarize
    May 13, 2010

    Where can I get some of this placebo?

  3. #3 the backpacker
    May 13, 2010

    So sad when someone misses their calling like that. I hope he is happy anyway.

  4. #4 Michael
    May 14, 2010

    qetzal: sounds like when I heard Watson speak in 2002(?, maybe 2003 or 2004). Something about skin color and sexual energy.

  5. #5 Neil
    May 18, 2010

    Not really for posting this – just wondered did you mean blogger when you wrote “heart of a blagger?”

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