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John Andraka - Student Scientist

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 1:00 AM

Our reader Hue-Man informed us of a wonderful story at "The New Civil Rights Movement." It's about 16-year-old John Andraka, an openly gay student who invented an inexpensive way of early detection of pancreatic cancer. He sat with Michelle Obama at the State Of the Union address earlier this year.

 

You must read this story!

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7 Comments

Reply Dennis Stone
4:42 PM on October 14, 2013 
Related to what you said about his age, I wondered if they were "protecting" him. I think that's very possible, perhaps even with his parents' approval. 60 Minutes is seen by many millions after all, and all of a sudden he could become a target of sorts for the crazies out there. We have become so protective of minors these days (overly so in some respects, in my opinion) that they might have been leery of exposing the "controversial" sexuality of a 15-year old to the whole world, even if he and his parents had no objection. I myself wouldn't let our own Lucas Butler use his real name because he was a minor. I just felt protective, even though I don't think there was anything to fear.

Hue-Man says...
I mentioned the direct link issue only to find out whether it was a more general issue or only caused by incompetent users like myself. I agree with you that there's a simple work-around to copy and paste so not worth much effort. Perhaps you can add a FAQ...

I also wondered whether Safer knew of Andraka's sexual orientation. 60 Minutes has an entire army of fact-checkers and lawyers on staff so if he was unaware, it would have been a determined effort. The Playboy reference was indicative of the 66 years age difference! I wasn't expecting a gay focus to the segment, just a small reference - charitable orgs, plans for boyfriend in college, or any other facts that straight people just happen to mention. (I also thought CBS may have considered his age and decided that he was too young to know his sexual orientation (!), even though most of us knew who we were attracted to before we became teenagers.) An opportunity lost to influence gay teens contemplating suicide.
Reply Hue-Man
3:23 PM on October 14, 2013 
I mentioned the direct link issue only to find out whether it was a more general issue or only caused by incompetent users like myself. I agree with you that there's a simple work-around to copy and paste so not worth much effort. Perhaps you can add a FAQ...

I also wondered whether Safer knew of Andraka's sexual orientation. 60 Minutes has an entire army of fact-checkers and lawyers on staff so if he was unaware, it would have been a determined effort. The Playboy reference was indicative of the 66 years age difference! I wasn't expecting a gay focus to the segment, just a small reference - charitable orgs, plans for boyfriend in college, or any other facts that straight people just happen to mention. (I also thought CBS may have considered his age and decided that he was too young to know his sexual orientation (!), even though most of us knew who we were attracted to before we became teenagers.) An opportunity lost to influence gay teens contemplating suicide.
Reply Dennis Stone
2:36 AM on October 14, 2013 
Well, you see what happened. The message did post, but the "link" didn't post as a link, though you can copy and paste it. (Which is what happened to you in your message above.) I'll inquire about that, but it could be a problem since the pages that allow comments are an add-on app to the basic framework of the site, and the app isn't directly maintained by my hosting company. But I'll see what they tell me. It's annoying to not post a direct link, but for now just take the "http" out and people can copy and paste.

Dennis Stone says...
Hue-Man: I got your message about the problem with posting messages with links with "http" in them. I just tried it myself and my comment didn't post, just as you said happened to you. I'll try posting the address without the "http" and see what happens. My browser (Safari) doesn't even show the "http" in the address line, but it does print when I copy and paste. So I'll remove it and see what happens:

www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50157066n
Reply Dennis Stone
2:31 AM on October 14, 2013 
Hue-Man: I got your message about the problem with posting messages with links with "http" in them. I just tried it myself and my comment didn't post, just as you said happened to you. I'll try posting the address without the "http" and see what happens. My browser (Safari) doesn't even show the "http" in the address line, but it does print when I copy and paste. So I'll remove it and see what happens:

www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50157066n



Hue-Man says...
A glowing segment on 60 Minutes on October 13th with no mention of him being gay - in fact, Morley Safer "inned" him by saying that his teacher might have thought he was reading Playboy instead of working on a biology problem. If you missed it, here's the video. www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50157066n

BTW, I'm NOT stalking him! When he said that he likes to solve problems and doesn't want to be a lab rat, it reminded me of a college friend who had what is often described as a photographic memory. His problem was that he could remember everything on the page but couldn't access it randomly and then couldn't apply it!
Reply Dennis Stone
2:20 AM on October 14, 2013 
I was at my sister's house tonight, and we were watching 60 Minutes. But shortly after the Andraka story started something came up and we missed it. That's interesting that the gay angle never came up. I would have been unhappy if that had been the main focus of the story, though, since in the context of the story it would be very much a side issue. His super supportive Mom says his gayness shouldn't define him any more than her "straight-ness" defines her: "I don't introduce myself as Jane the straight woman but as Jane the kayaker/anesthetist/mom. Later people can find out I'm married to a man." And I very much agree with that basic perspective. But his being gay does add an angle to the story in today's world that is at least worth mentioning. I really wonder if Morley Safer even knew he is gay. Certainly if he intentionally "inned" him that would be quite objectionable. As we know from the story linked to above, John is totally out and totally comfortable, as is his family.

Hue-Man says...
A glowing segment on 60 Minutes on October 13th with no mention of him being gay - in fact, Morley Safer "inned" him by saying that his teacher might have thought he was reading Playboy instead of working on a biology problem. If you missed it, here's the video. www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50157066n
Reply Hue-Man
1:50 AM on October 14, 2013 
A glowing segment on 60 Minutes on October 13th with no mention of him being gay - in fact, Morley Safer "inned" him by saying that his teacher might have thought he was reading Playboy instead of working on a biology problem. If you missed it, here's the video. www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50157066n

BTW, I'm NOT stalking him! When he said that he likes to solve problems and doesn't want to be a lab rat, it reminded me of a college friend who had what is often described as a photographic memory. His problem was that he could remember everything on the page but couldn't access it randomly and then couldn't apply it!
Reply The_Fixer
1:42 AM on October 9, 2013 
I've been familiar with Jack Andraka for a little while now. He's a very cool kid in addition to being very smart.

Intel has a commercial of sorts that shows him getting their science award (I forget what it's called) and it's worthy of tearing up over.

I'm proud that he's "in our camp" and rest a little easier knowing that his generation will be running the world someday.