3 thoughts on “Particle Accelerator Upgrades Keep Cornell Competitive

  1. Funny you mention Michael Rossmann. In the ’70s Michael headed , and still does, the other, and much bigger crystallography group at Purdue when I was a postdoc with Struther Arnott doing what some have described as the ‘crystallography of non-crystalline materials’ (fiber diffraction). He was challenging and difficult but utterly focused. In my case that meant he opposed a tenure track position for me, mainly because ranting it would have prevented from taking over the space for his own activities. Years later I had to serve as his host at Polyetch, in Brooklyn, when he received a Fankuchen award requiring a lecture at Poly. I was the closest thing to a protein crystallographer in the Institute and no one knew our history, so there I was, the host.
    I did my best for him despite deep seated differences and in the evening, as people were leaving from a Brooklyn Heights restaurant, Michael asked me to stay behind for a private discussion over brandy ( highly unusual as Michael had largely abandoned alcohol by then). In that session he admitted he had made a mistake in opposing me, something he rarely did. He also gained my lifetime respect for I understood that his goal was not directed against e, only at the advancement of what he saw as most important, protein and virus crystallography /structure. We remain friends and I have an infinite respect for his dedication, costly as it may have been to me personally.

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