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Thursday, 23.03.2017

Response to Blackwell’s reply to Gershon by Paul Grof


Paul Grof’s reply to Barry Blackwell’s reply to Sam Gershon’s comment

As always, Barry (Blackwell) makes interesting observations about the process of discovery but it seems to me that his reply is tainted by a misunderstanding.

As I read Barry’s response, he feels that Sam wanted to stress his contributions to the lithium story and Barry then wonders if Cade had recognized them. I get a different feeling from reading Sam's comments. To me it seems that Sam mainly wanted to offer a little-known material illustrating that a lithium controversy has been with us for much longer.

Parenthetically, I worked with John Cade Junior at McMaster University. I understood that his father had a very broad interest in many aspects of natural sciences. So by 1971, when he presented the paper to which Barry refers, John Cade Sr. was already far removed from the specifics of lithium's history two decade ago.

My preference is to move now onto other issues that seem on fire. To me it seems redundant to point out that Sam Gershon, John Cade, Mogens Schou  and John Trautner each played a very important role in the introduction of lithium into psychiatric practice and research; and that any important discovery is eventually much more a matter of lineage than of “priority.”

Paul Grof

March 12, 2015