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The Making of a Scientist Summary in English
Richard H. Ebright is one of the leading scientists. He has contributed significantly to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He had been interested in science since his boyhood years. At the age of twenty-two. he excited the scientific world with a new theory. It was concerned with the working of cells. Ebright and his college room-mate explained the theory in an article. It was published in the journal entitled ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’. It was first of his many achievements in the field of science. It started with his studies on ‘butterflies’.
Ebright was the only child of his parents. They lived in the north of Reading, Pennsylvania. There was nothing for Ebright to do there. He had no companions. He was not a good player. But his hobby was collecting things. Ebright was fascinated by butterflies. He started collecting butterflies in kindergarten. He also collected rocks, fossils and coins. He also became a star-gazer and an eager astronomer.
Ebright’s mother recognized his curiosity and encouraged him. She took him on trips. She also bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras and other equipment so that he could follow his hobbies. Ebright’s mother was his friend until he started school. She would bring home friends to him. He was her whole life after her husband’s death.
Ebright’s mother would find work for Richie if he had nothing to do. She found learning tasks for him. He had a great hunger for learning. He earned top grades in school. By the time he was in second grade. he had collected 25 species of butterflies. These were found around in hometown. One day his mother gave him a children’s book. It opened the world of science to Ebright.
That book was ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. It described how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America. This book fascinated him. At the end of the book, readers were invited to help study butterfly migrations. They were asked to tag butterflies for research by Dr Frederick A. Urquhart of Toronto University. Canada. Anyone who found a tagged butterfly was asked to send the tag to Dr Urquhart. Ebright started tagging monarch butterflies. The butterfly collecting season around Reading lasts only six weeks in late summer. He realized that chasing the butterflies one by one won’t enable him to catch many. So he decided to raise a flock of butterflies. He would catch a female monarch and take her eggs. He would raise them in his basement from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly. Then he would tag the butterflies’ wings and let them go.
‘ However, soon Ebright began to lose interest in tagging butterflies. The reason was that there was no feedback. He was a little disappointed as only two butterflies had been recaptured. And they had been found not more than seventy-five miles from where he lived. By the time, Ebright reached the seventh grade. He got busy with other scientific experiments. He entered a county science fair. His entries were slides of frog tissues. But he did not win any prize He realised that the winners had tried to do real experiments. So he decided to do further research in his favourite field, that is, insects on which he had already been doing work.
Ebright wrote to Dr Urquhart for ideas. In reply, the famous scientist gave him many suggestions for experiments. These experiments kept Ebright busy all through high school. He also won many prizes in the county and international science fairs. For his eighth grade project, Ebright tried to find the cause of a viral disease that killed all monarch caterpillars. He thought the disease might be carried by a beetle. He tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles. But he didn’t get any real results. But he showed his experiment in the science fair and won. The next year his science fair project was testing the theory that viceroy butterflies imitate monarchs. He said that viceroys look like monarchs because birds do not find monarchs tasty. By copying monarchs, the viceroys escape being eaten by birds. His project was to see if birds would eat monarchs. This project was placed first in the zoology division and third overall in the county science fair.
In his second year in high school, Ebright’s research led to his discovery of an unknown insect hormone. Indirectly, it led to his new theory on the life of cells. He tried to answer a very simple question: What is the purpose of the twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa? To find the answer Ebright and another student built a device that showed that the spots were producing a hormone. It was necessary for the butterfly’s full development. This project won Ebright first place in the county fair and entry into the International Science and Engineering Fair. There he won third place for zoology. He also got a chance to work in Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Ebright’s interest in butterflies never abated. As a high school junior, he continued his advanced experiments on the monarch pupa. His project won first place at the International Science Fair. In his senior year, he grew cells from a monarch’s wing in a culture. He showed that the cells would divide and develop into normal butterfly wing scales only if they were fed the hormone from the gold spots. That project won first place for zoology at the International Fair. He also worked at the army laboratory and at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s laboratory. The following summer Ebright went back to the Dept. of Agriculture’s lab and worked on the hormone theory. Finally, he was able to identify the hormone’s chemical structure.
A year-and-a-half later, one day, Ebright was seeing the X-ray photos of the chemical structure of cells. He got the idea for his new theory about cell life. Those photos provided him with the answer to one of biology’s puzzles: how the cell can ‘read’ the blueprint of its DNA. DNA is the substance in the nucleus of a cell that controls heredity. It is the blueprint for life. Ebright and his college room-mate James R. Wong drew pictures and constructed plastic models of molecules to show how it could happen.
No one was surprised when Richard Ebright graduated from Harvard with highest honours. He also became a graduate student researcher at Harvard Medical School. There he began experimenting to test his theory if the theory proves correct it will be a big step towards understanding the life processes. It might also lead to new ideas for preventing some types of cancer and other diseases.
Ebright has many other interests also. He also became a champion debater and public speaker, a good canoeist and an all-around outdoor-Person. He was also an expert photographer of nature and scientific exhibits.
Ebright’s social studies teacher, Richard Weiherer had high praise for him. Ebright said about his teacher that he opened his mind to new ideas. Richard A. Weiherer also spoke highly of Ebright about his interests. He won because he wanted to do the best job. He said that Ebright was competitive, but not in a bad sense. In the end, the writer says Ebright possessed those traits which are necessary for the making of a scientist. These are: Start with a first-rate mind, add curiosity and mix in the will to win for the right reasons. Ebright had these qualities.
The Making of a Scientist Summary in English (2) :
1.Theory on How Cells Work: At the age of twenty-two, Ebright excited the scientific world with a new theory on how cells work. Richard H Ebright and his college room-mate explained the theory in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Science’. It was the first time that this important scientific journal had ever published the work of college students. For Richard Ebright, his first achievement in science started with butterflies.
2.Fond of Collecting Butterflies: Richard Ebright started collecting butterflies when he was just in kindergarten. He was also fond of collecting rocks, fossils and coins. He became an eager astronomer too. He sometimes gazed at stars all night.
3. Mother Encouraged Interest in Learning: Richard Ebright’s mother encouraged his interest in learning. She took him on trips, bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras and other equipment. She helped him in many ways. Richard was just in third grade when his father died. Richard was her Mother’s whole life. They spent almost every evening at the dining table. Richard wanted to learn. He earned top grades in schools. By the time he was in the second grade, Ebright had collected all twenty-five species of the butterflies found around his hometown. Then, his mother bought him a children’s book called The Travels of Monarch X. The book told how monarch butterflies migrated to Central America. It opened the world of science to the eager collector.
4. Tagging Butterflies: The book invited readers to help study butterfly migrations. Readers were asked to tag butterflies for research by Dr Frederick A Urquhart of the University of Toronto, Canada. Ebright started raising a flock of butterflies. He would catch a female monarch, take her eggs, and raise them in his basement through their life cycle.
5. County Science Fair: In the seventh grade, he entered the County Science Fair and lost. It was a sad feeling for him. But it aroused the competitive spirit in Ebright. For his eighth grade project, Ebright tried to find the cause of a viral disease that killed all monarch caterpillars every few years. This time he won. The next year, his science fair project was to test the theory that viceroy butterflies copy monarchs because monarchs don’t taste good to birds. Ebright proved that viceroy butterflies do taste good to birds. This project was placed first in the zoology division and third overall in the County Science Fair. In his second year in high school, Ebright showed that the gold spots on a monarch pupa produced a hormone necessary for the butterfly’s full development. This project won him first place in the County Fair and an entry into the International Science and Engineering Fair.
6. Theory about Cell Life: Ebright got the idea for his new theory about cell life. He found out that the cell can ‘read’ the blueprint of its DNA. DNA is the substance in the nucleus of a cell that controls heredity. Thus, DNA is the blueprint of life.
7. Other Interests: Richard Ebright had time for other interests too. He became a champion debater and public speaker. He became a good canoeist. He also became an expert photographer, particularly of nature and scientific exhibits. He praised his social studies teacher, Mr Weiherer. He had opened Ebright’s mind to new ideas.
8. Competitive—To be the Best: Richard Ebright was competitive but not in a bad sense. He was not interested in winning for winning’s sake or winning to get a prize. He wanted to be the best. The making of a good scientist was present in Ebright. He had a first-rate mind. He had curiosity. He had the will to win for the right reasons. The book The Travels of Monarch X opened the world of science to him. He had never lost his scientific curiosity.