10 English Chapter 6 Making of a Scientist Robert W Peterson

Chapter Notes and Summary
Richard H Ebright grew up in North of Reading, Pennsylvania. In his childhood Ebright had a habit of collecting butterflies. He also collected rocks fossils and coins. He would observe sky at night too. His mother always encouraged his interest in learning. She also bought him telescopes, microscopes, camera and other material of science. Ebright said that this would have been end of his butterfly collection but his mother gave him a book called ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. This book opened new world of science before Richard H Ebright. Due to this book he could communicate with ‘Dr Urquhart’ who gave him suggestions and motivated him to initiate his scientific search on butterflies. In first county science fair he could not get anything yet he realised winner had tried to do real experiments, not simple make a neat display. Richard H Ebright also learnt that to win a science fair one must try to do real experiments. More display material not fetch a prize. After this Ebright kept on working and become a great scientist.
Detailed Summary
In Childhood Richard H Ebright had a Habit of Collecting Things
The scientist Richard H Ebright grew up at Reading in Pennsylvania. There he was not be able to do anything. He was not be able to do anything. He was not be able to play football and baseball too. But he said that there he could do one thing—collect things, so he collected things. In kindergarten, Ebright collected butterflies. He also collected rocks fossils and coins. He would observe sky at night too. He also became a star-gazer and an eager astronomer.
Ebright’s Mother Helped Him
Richard H Ebright was in third grade when his father dead. So, he lived with his mother who encouraged his interest in learning. She would take him on trips, bought him telescope, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials and other materials required for learning. His mother would discuss with him every night and gave mental exercise instead of physical exercise which he wanted to learn. To find answer, Ebright and another excellent science student first had to build a device that showed that spots were producing a hormone necessary for butterflies full development. This project won Ebright first place in county fair and entry into ‘International Science and Engineering Fair’. There he won third place for Zoology. He also got a chance to work during summer at entomology laboratory of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. As a high school junior, Richard Ebright continued his advanced experiments on monarch pupa. This year his project won first place at International Science Fair and gave him another chance to work in army laboratory during summer.
Ebright got New Idea for this New Theory about Cell Life
A year and a half later during his junior year, Ebright got idea for his theory about cell life. It came while he was looking at X-ray photos of chemical structure of hormone. When he saw those photos, Ebright did not shout, ‘Eureka ! or even, I have got it ! But he believed that, alongwith his findings about insect hormones, photos gave him answer to one of biology’s puzzles ! How cell can ‘read’ blueprint of its DNA. DNA is substance in nucleus of a cell that controls heredity. It determines form and function of cell. Thus, DNA is blueprint for life. Surprising no one who knew him Richard Ebright graduated from Harvard with highest honours, second in his class. Ebright went on to become a graduate student researcher at Harvard Medical School. There he began doing experiments to test his theory. If theory proves correct, it will be a big step towards understanding processes of life. It might also lead to new ideas for preventing some types of cancer and other diseases. All of this is possible because of Ebright’s scientific curiosity. When Ebright was only in second grade, he had collected all twenty-five species of butterflies found around his hometown.
A Book Which Became a Turning Point of Ebright
Richard H Ebright said that this would have been end of his butterfly collection. But his mother gave him a book which was called ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. That book, which told how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America. This book was proved to be turning point for Ebright. This book opened a new world of science for him. Due to this book he could communicate with Dr Urquhart who gave him suggestions and motivate him to initiate his scientific search on butterflies.
Richard H Ebright Post in County Science Fair
Then in seventh grade he got a hint of what real science is when he entered a county science fair and lost. He said that it was a sad feeling to sit there and not get anything while everybody else had won something. Ebright said that his entry was slides of frog tissues, which he showed a microscope. He realised that winners had tried to do real experiments. And he decided that he had to do something extraordinary than others for next year. So, he asked to Dr Urquhart for suggestions and back came a stock of suggestions.
Ebright Work on Viral Disease
For his eighth grade project, Ebright tried to find cause of viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars every few years. Ebright thought disease might be carried by a beetle. So, he rose caterpillers in presence of beetles. But he did not get any real result. But he went ahead and showed that he had tried experiment.
In His Second Year in High School
In his second year in high school, Richard H Ebright began research that led to his discovery of unknown insect hormone. Indirectly, it also led to his new theory on life of cells. question he tried to answer was simple. What is purpose of twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa? ‘‘Everyone assumed spots were just ornamental’’ Ebright said, but Dr Urquhart did not believe it’’.

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