2003 Nobel Prize for MRI Denied to Raymond Vahan Damadian

By George B. Kauffman

According to the late Ulf Lagerkvist, a member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences who participated in judging nominations for the Chemistry Prize, “It is in the nature of the Nobel Prize that there will always be a number of candidates who obviously deserve to be rewarded but never get the accolade.” Usually, a losing candidate merely accepts the injustice. But in the case of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of $1.3 million, awarded 10 years ago to University of Illinois Chemist Paul C. Lauterbur (1929-2007) and University of Nottingham (UK) Physicist Sir Peter Mansfield (b. 1933) “for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging,” the undoubtedly deserving candidate, Raymond Vahan Damadian, M.D. (b. 1936), an American of Armenian descent, did not take this injustice lying down.

President Ronald Reagan presents the National Medal of Technology to Damadian, 1988.
President Ronald Reagan presents the National Medal of Technology to Damadian, 1988.

A group called “The Friends of Raymond Damadian” protested the denial with full-page advertisements, “The Shameful Wrong That Must Be Righted” in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Stockholm’s Dagens Nyheter. His exclusion scandalized the scientific community, in general, and the Armenian community, in particular. Damadian correctly claimed that he had invented the MRI and that Lauterbur and Mansfield had merely refined the technology. On Sept. 2, 1971, Lauterbur had acknowledged that he had been inspired by Damadian’s earlier work.

Because Damadian was not included in the award, even though the Nobel statutes permit the award to be made to as many as three living individuals, his omission was clearly deliberate. The possible purported reasons for his rejection have included the fact that he was a physician not an academic scientist; his intensive lobbying for the prize; his supposedly abrasive personality; and his active support of creationism. None of these constitute valid grounds for the denial.

The careful wording of the prize citation reflects the fact that the Nobel laureates did not come up with the idea of applying nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) (the term was later changed to avoid the public’s fear of the word “nuclear,” even though nuclear energy is not involved in the procedure) to medical imaging. Today magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is universally used to image every part of the body and is particularly useful in diagnosing cancer, strokes, brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, torn ligaments, and tendonitis, to name just a few conditions. An MRI scan is the best way to see inside the human body without cutting it open.

‘Apparatus and Method for Detecting Cancer in Tissue,’ U.S. Patent No. 3789832, Feb. 5, 1974.
‘Apparatus and Method for Detecting Cancer in Tissue,’ U.S. Patent No. 3789832, Feb. 5, 1974.

The original idea of applying NMR to medical imaging (MRI) was first proposed by Damadian, a physician, scientist, and an assistant professor of medicine and biophysics at the Downstate Medical Center State University of New York in Brooklyn. Growing up in Forest Hills, N.Y., he attended the Julliard School and became a proficient violinist. When he was still a boy, he lost his grandmother to a slow death by cancer. He vowed to find a way to detect this dreaded disease in its early, still treatable stages.

MRI scanners make use of the fact that body tissue contains lots of water (H2O), and hence protons (1H nuclei), which will be aligned in a large magnetic field. Each water molecule contains two protons. When a person is inside the scanner’s powerful magnetic field, the average magnetic moment of many protons becomes aligned with the direction of the field. A radio frequency current is briefly turned on, producing a varying electromagnetic field. This electromagnetic field has just the right frequency, known as the resonance frequency, to be absorbed and flip the spin of the protons in the magnetic field. After the electromagnetic field is turned off, the spins of the protons return to thermodynamic equilibrium and the bulk magnetization becomes realigned with the static magnetic field. During this relaxation, a radio frequency signal (electromagnetic radiation in the RF range) is generated, which can be measured with receiver coils.

Information about the origin of the signal in three-dimensional space can be obtained by applying additional magnetic fields during the scan. These additional magnetic fields can be used to generate detectable signals only from specific locations in the body (spatial excitation) and/or to make magnetization at different spatial locations precess at different frequencies, which enables http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-space_(MRI) encoding of spatial information. The 3D images obtained in MRI can be rotated along arbitrary orientations and manipulated by the doctor to be better able to detect tiny changes of structures within the body. These fields, generated by passing electric currents through gradient coils, make the magnetic field strength vary depending on the position within the magnet. Protons in different tissues return to their equilibrium state at different relaxation rates.

Damadian’s National Medal of Technology, 1988.
Damadian’s National Medal of Technology, 1988.

Using a primitive NMR machine, Damadian found that there was a lag in T1 and T2 relaxation times between the electrons of normal and malignant tissues, allowing him to distinguish between normal and cancerous tissue in rats implanted with tumors. In 1971, he published the seminal article for NMR use in organ imaging in the journal Science (“Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance,” March 19, 1971, vol. 171, pp. 1151-1153). Nevertheless, many individuals in the scientific and NMR community considered his ideas far-fetched, and he had few supporters at this time.

However, Damadian received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1971 to continue his work. He proposed to use whole body scanning by NMR for medical diagnosis in a patent application, “Apparatus and Method for Detecting Cancer in Tissue,” filed on March 17, 1972 (U.S. Patent No. 3789832, issued Feb. 5, 1974). By February 1976, he was able to scan the interior of a live mouse using his FONAR (field focused nuclear magnetic resonance) method.

In 1977, using his machine christened “Indomitable,” now preserved in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Damadian tried to scan himself, but the test failed because of his excessive weight. On July 3, 1977, he obtained the first human NMR image—a cross-section of his slender postgraduate assistant Larry Minkoff’s chest, which revealed heart, lungs, vertebræ, and musculature. Minkoff had to be moved over 60 positions with 20-30 signals taken from each position. Congratulatory telegrams poured in from all over the world, including one from Mansfield.

In early 1978, Damadian established the FONAR Corporation in Melville, N.Y., to produce MRI scanners. Later that year he completed his design of the first practical permanent magnet for an MRI scanner, christened “Jonah.” By 1980 his QED 80, the first commercial MRI scanner, was completed.

The MRI imaging industry expanded rapidly with more than a dozen different manufacturers. On Oct. 6, 1997, the Rehnquist U.S. Supreme Court awarded him $128,705,766 from the General Electric Company for infringement of his patent.

Damadian is universally recognized as the originator of the MRI (by President Ronald Reagan, among others) and has received numerous prestigious awards such as the National Medal of Technology in 1988, the same year he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He was named Knights of Vartan 2003 “Man of the Year,” and on March 18, 2004, he received the Bower Award from the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia for his development of the MRI.


George B. Kauffman is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at California State University, Fresno, Calif.


George B. Kauffman

George B. Kauffman is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at California State University, Fresno, Calif.

Latest posts by George B. Kauffman (see all)


  1. Why should we Armenians care about Damadian? Has he ever done anything related to Armenia or Armenians? As far as I am aware, he is a completely assimilated person with no links whatsoever with the Armenian community.

    • Hello Kersam.
      Every nation’s majority of people are ordinary. The ones who make the difference in prestige and values of a nation, are the persons such as Mr. Damadian. May be he hasn’t been involved in Armenian Communities but by carrying an Armenian name he has proven to be a carrying person toward his heritage. In demanding days and times such ours, it takes termendous amount of hard work to achieve to a goal and a level that he has reached. So no time is left even for family life. Just by not denying his origins, a world known scientist and engineer, has helped and elevated Armenian’s image substantially.
      Probably it’s the time now, we learn how to appreciate our great ones instead of devaluating briliant works of nation’s members like Mr. Damadian. I have done less than zero comare to what he has done. Please let us know what have you done so magnificent that you can’t praise genius mind of MR. DAMADIAN !!

      Art Zargarian

  2. This matter was resolved 10 years ago. Why resurrect it now? The Nobel prize is not awarded on the basis of political agitation or maneuvers, but on actual achievement. Damadian made contributions, but these did not reach the required scientific standard. This topic should be closed.

  3. Look–he clearly deserved a Nobel prize along with the other two. Did you read the articl e? Check other sources if you don’t believe it. He single handedly invented the concept of using NMR in medical imaging and the other two who shared the Nobel prize just refined it. And no the issue was not resolved 10 years ago, it just went away. And what doors he have top do with Armenia given that he was completely assimilated? You just stop and reflect on that one for a while.

  4. I have a strong feeling that they excluded him of the Nobel Prize because of his religious beliefs. If you didn’t know, religion contradicts all the facts of science and physics. The creator and the best invisible friend anyone can have, but he will send you to hell for eternity if you violate his commandments. These theories are scientifically absurd. How can they give him the highest honor in science when his strong beliefs in religion contradict every spec of the existence of earth and life? Not trying to offend anyone. Just stating facts and thats might be the cause to this effect.

  5. How exactly was Damadian “…universally recognized as the originator of the MRI (by President Ronald Reagan, among others)…?”

    I wouldn’t use Reagan as a credible authority on matters concerning scientific discoveries much less attribution of the Nobel Prize to such authors of the discoveries. Reagan was one of the cookiest presidents we had, reportedly seeking advice from astrologists about decisions he should make as a President not to mention he was a fundamental Christian with a simple black and white moral compass and an oversimplified view of the world.

    Apparently an expert in MRI stated that the research community would side with the the Nobel Prize committee’s decision (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/11/us/doctor-disputes-winners-of-nobel-in-medicine.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm)

    and furthermore, the chairman of the committee had stated the decision was final and world experts had concluded the matter (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/11/us/doctor-disputes-winners-of-nobel-in-medicine.html)

    and even the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) final publication had not attributed any of the milestones with regard to the discovery of the MRI to Damadian, according to the wiki article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Vahan_Damadian#cite_note-nytimescontro-18).

    So what other evidence do you have to suggest there was some injustice done or some sort of conspiratorial cover-up going on behind closed doors?

    Apparently even when they announced the two recipients, the decision was final and could not be changed. It still can’t be changed so what is the point of this article? We know, at least in the case of Carl Sagan, that Sagan was not inducted in the NAS because of animosity and envy by his piers, but did such sentiment exist in Damadian’s case…?

    • by your logic nothing can be disputed because Nobel committee says their decision final? but a bunch of Nonsense. facts are not decided by your meaningless political citations.

      I have news for you Mr Naive. This kind of biased nonsense happens ALL THE TIME. I got a bridge to sell you if you don’t believe me.

  6. What makes someone Armenian, a last name? In what aspect, aside from his last name can Damadian be considered Armenian? Are you aware of him donating a penny to any Armenian cause? Yet, he is clearly a wealthy man.

  7. Listen carefully: It would’ve been great if he acknowledged his Armenian heritage. I am glad he kept his IAN compared to some others who cut it short. Yes, it happened 10 years ago, but “We Armenians” should take a part in the blame. Now then, let me ask all of you the following:

    How many of you have protested to the Swedish Academy of Sciences with your letters, emails and phone calls? How many? DID YOU?
    This is not the first time I hear such disappointment. I happens on a daily basis. I find the main reason for all of this is the lack of us Armenians not getting involved. Look what other nations or nation will do. Can you imagine some people of other nation would get up in arms, make their voice heard, shout, bang on all doors, call every radio station, email all TV media, and write to all newspapers, until it becomes headline news.
    We, Armenians must always cease the opportunity to fight back, struggle and strive, knock on every ones door, until they hear us, and until they do something about it. Sometimes, we are our worst enemy. The duty of every true Armenian is to support all Armenians and all Armenian causes. Period. Cause United we stand, and divided we fall. Amen.

    • Since the Nobel Committee is not accountable to people living elsewhere, there is no chance that agitation in favor of a given candidate will have the desired effect. Armenians have plenty of topics in which to be politically involved, but the Nobel Prize is not one. Political agitation in favor of Damadian is likely to reflect poorly on his candidacy, and I suspect that this is one of the reasons he was passed over.

  8. Dr. Damadian is Armenian because of his parentage! Nothing more and nothing less. He is someone we can be proud of because of his accomplishment, Nobel recognition or not. He is being held to an unfair standard of Armenianism. Why derogate or diminish his status among Armenians: he served medicine and science and therefore, all of mankind. Our unfortunate history has left us scrambling for justice, freedom, independence and defending our heritage at every turn. The struggle to serve the needs of the nation is a burden many of us willingly carry, but at a cost. Dr. Damadian has my respect for using his God-given talents and his Armenian ingenuity and work ethic to make a contribution that helps all of us, Armenian or not.

  9. I am truly shocked with some of the responses that I read here!!
    Did you know that when Dr. Raymond Vahan Damadian had the vision of this MRI invention he approached every possible Armenian organization and wealthy Armenian… to support his invention …???He was turned down by all!! even ridiculed for his foolish idea!!
    his mother -being a non-Armenian -was VERY active in the church community of Queens -New York

    He was so frustrated that later his father -in-law supported financially to go AHEAD WITH HIS DREAM.That’s how he ended up having his very first indomitable machine!

    Look around !! Many celebrities of Armenian origin have
    the fear to announce their “Armenian-ism” -until they reach fame…
    Bitter circumstances/experiences may lead each individual to act radically
    That.. shouldn’t.. in no way takes away the pride that we ALL should have that Dr. Raymond V. Damadian is a genius ..
    Don’t measure him with the count/amount of money he has contributed to Armenians only
    Measure him with his contribution to the humankind.
    Those who are giving money are rewarded with medals.
    Damadian doesn’t need a medal!
    His name is etched in this invention called MRI~~

    • Although you write that Dr. Damadian does not need a medal, he in fact did receive an award–a medal–from President Reagan for his accomplishments. This was a singular honor which I believe was deserved. For almost any other scientitst such an award would have been ample recognition. Rather than feeling gratitude, however, Damadian seems to still have a chip on his shoulder.

  10. The so-called Nobel Prize is not worth the paper it is printed on.When someone like Obama receives a Nobel peace award for doing nothing and being a nobody it becomes obvious that the so-called Nobel award is an instrument of political propaganda wielded by an extreme left-wing,anti-Christian,radical power broker intent on imposing their own social agenda.What really surprises me is that we should ascribe any importance to such a devalued,morally corrupt,self-aggrandizing clique of pseudo-scholars sitting in Oslo and dispensing accolades to their biased choices of recipients.

  11. I am actually surprised by many of the (hostile) comments here on Mr. Damadian. What is your purpose or gain? I do not believe the Nobel prize is based on “achievement” only. Politics, or rather dirty politics, is alive and well at the committee. I do recall reading someplace they played this game and denied Mr. Damadian the prize because of his Christian faith, or perhaps that he did not renounce it, in order to join their pseudo-science good ole boy network.

    Obviously since this very rare controversy was created, someone, someplace knows enough about their work (and has enough support within the scientific community) that they challenged the Nobel Committee’s decision, and even went public with it. This fact alone should stop one from making unsubstantiated remarks that the “correct decision was made” based on some silly imagined “scientific integrity” principle.

    • {“I am actually surprised by many of the (hostile) comments here on Mr. Damadian. What is your purpose or gain?”}

      Don’t be surprised Hagop: you have read AW reader comments long enough to know that more often than not, Armenians are our own worst enemy.
      The twin national diseases that many of our people suffer from: Ստրկամտություն and Օդարամոլություն.

      Just imagine if Damadian was Jewish: No Jew would write a sentence like this “This matter was resolved 10 years ago. Why resurrect it now?”.
      If a deserving Jewish scientist was denied the Nobel, the Jewish Diaspora would keep beating the Nobel committee over the head until they cried “Uncle !”.
      10, years, 20 years, 30 years, whatever: Jews would never let them forget it: and I say good for them; instead sucking up to whoever, learn how this world works from Jews. And emulate them.

      As to non-Armenians who are posting here negatively about Damadian: their purpose should be clear and self-explanatory.

      Damadian was denied the Nobel because he is Armenian. Prove it isn’t so. Clearly, Professor Kauffman’s article has more than sufficient detail to reasonably and plausibly make such an argument.
      To wit: “Damadian correctly claimed that he had invented the MRI and that Lauterbur and Mansfield had merely refined the technology. On Sept. 2, 1971, Lauterbur had acknowledged that he had been inspired by Damadian’s earlier work.”
      Indeed: he was “inspired”.

      And that is why instead of asking “why resurrect it now ?”, we should commend ArmenianWeekly for publishing Professor George B. Kauffman’s article.
      And we should continue resurrecting it now, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow…ad infinitum.

    • As usual, our self-hating “Armenian” going by the (foreign!) name of “Avery” is again spewing his self-hating generalizations about Armenians and the Armenian nation. Let’s put our buddy boy in his place (yet again). Look at his statement above: “The twin national diseases that many of our people suffer from: Ստրկամտություն and Օդարամոլություն.” For those who do not read Armenian, our “Armenian” self-hater just accused Armenians of suffering from “slave-mindedness” and “mania for foreign things.” And according to our self-hater, these are national (!) diseases. How much hatred our “Armenian” has against his own people (assuming, big assumption, that he is Armenian) to make such a vicious generalization about our nation.

      For those who have tracked his posts, it is not surprising. For example, in the past, he blamed our Genocide victims for the Genocide! Read his prior post: by Avery // February 26, 2013 at 3:17 am // “no wonder we were slaughtered like sheep by Turks. Turks glorify their military, while we glorify our spoiled brats.” http://armenianweekly.com/2013/02/23/a-story-of-defiance-activists-reject-international-observers-assessment-of-election/

      So, let’s see what happened. Some Armenian posters expressed their opinion about Damadian, which differed from other Armenians’ opinions (what a shock!). Now, when we healthy non-self-hating Armenians disagree with a post of another Armenian, we recognize that Armenians are humans and therefore have diverse opinions, and we address our opponents’ arguments and facts. However, the few self-haters among us immediately make the sweeping conclusion that “we Armenians suffer from national diseases.” Now, I believe such self-haters are a tiny minority among us.

      Unfortunately, they are also the loudest, and they usually act (or are used) as defenders of some of our failing leaders and entities. Not surprisingly, the “Armenian” self-hater above is an avid defender of Armenia’s corrupt regime. You see, to justify a corrupt organization or a state of ours, the only option is to blame the nation. We all need to be alert to such self-haters and put them in their place. If racism is not tolerated against other groups, we should not tolerate it among ourselves.

    • “Damadian was denied the Nobel because he is Armenian. Prove it isn’t so.”

      Umm, you need to prove that he was denied for being Armenian first. You can’t throw out a claim or accusation and demand others disprove it. It’s not others to disprove, since you’re the one making the claim first.

      And as someone else who posted, the only way to really know is to go through the Nobel prize committee’s records.

    • Hagop, I think that this sort of controversy is not rare at all. It takes place very regularly–there are always individuals who feel that the they were jilted by the Committee. The fact remains that the Committee makes the decision and this is not a popularity contest.

  12. The author of the article has not presented a balanced view of what occurred in this case. If you read the wiki article on Damadian, you would see that it is not as clear as some may want to think. Assuming of course the wiki article has some credibility. I would suggest that the author do a more thorough research indicative of what a investigative journalist would do before coming to hasty conclusions. Furthermore, the author did not state Damadian was turned down from the Nobel prize because he was Armenian, but that there were a host of purported reasons, which may or may not have evidentiary basis and can entirely be based on innuendo or anecdotal justification. Someone needs to go through the Nobel Prize committee’s records and the NAS’s records, spanning that time frame and piece together the facts about what actually occurred. Until then, I suggest we all reserve judgment and not put forth any personal theories as to why this and why that. Apparently, there is dispute about who actually invented the MRI, if even there could be a point of delineation here, thus it is not “universally accepted” as the prof would have us believe.

    On another note, it is irrelevant that I am Armenian and commenting on the merits of the author’s argument which has as its central figure, yet another Armenian. My criticism stands regardless if Damadian is an Armenian, a Jew, or Martian or in the alternative if I am an Armenian, Jew or Martian

    I think a more interesting question is why do we not have more representation on such prestigious bodies, such as the Nobel Laureates, NAS members and members of The Royal Society?
    Not to fuel any more ethnocentric or bigoted comments here, but it is noteworthy to consider that Jews represent more Nobel recipients than any other ethnic group. Almost 1/3 of all recipients are Jewish, but Jews comprise of only 0.2% of the world’s population. (http://www.american.com/archive/2011/october/the-2011-nobel-prize-and-the-debate-over-jewish-iq).
    Here are some plausible explanations why that may be so and why, on average, Jews have a higher IQ then the rest of us. (http://immortallife.info/articles/entry/why-is-the-iq-of-ashkenazi-jews-so-high)

    • On the contrary the author of this article could not be more balanced, because he used established facts which cannot be refuted.

      Your cited articles, however, are laughable. If you want to use IQ and population, then why has China being the most populated country in the world, and with supposedly “highest IQ” received only a handful of prizes?

      Yes Jews are smart. Not any more smarter than Armenians. Jews excel at whatever they do because they know better than us how to take care of themselves and continue their success. Your comments in this article can act as a reference point.

      Jews have been part of European life for more than 1000 years, have lived among them, and in essence adopted European values and wealth. We have struggled to survive at the hands of Muslims and Turks for that same amount of time. I wonder how many Nobel prizes Jews would have acquired if they were in our shoes. Actually I don’t need to wonder. The answer is zero.

      What world population Jews are is also irrelevant because they don’t have sizable communities in places like the Gobi Desert, Sub-Saharan Africa or the Brazilian Rain Forests now do they? Instead they have their highest concentration in the place that matters the most, in terms of economic wealth, education, technology and institutions of learning, etc.

      There are many other points I can make, except this is enough to point out that comparing apples with oranges is a waste of time.

  13. Very few scientists win the Nobel prize. Damadian did win a National Medal for Technology, quite an honor, and he is among the elite few that have received that award. He should have been satisfied, but instead he (hiding behind a front organization of “friends”) agitated politically for more. This agitation got him nowhere, and alienated many who were sympathetic to his cause.

    • Indeed few scientists win the Nobel. Even fewer scientific discoveries merit the Nobel. If _nobody_ had won the Nobel for the MRI, there would be no issue: i.e., this particular scientific discovery does not merit a Nobel prize; case closed.

      And there would be no article in ArmenianWeekly.
      And poster lolo would not write: “This matter was resolved 10 years ago. Why resurrect it now? ”

      However two scientists _did_ win the Nobel for the MRI.
      For the MRI. As in MRI.
      One of those two acknowledged that he was “inspired” by Damadian’s discovery.

      Those two scientists won the Nobel for MRI.
      The scientist who invented MRI did not win – even though Nobel rules allow up to 3 scientists.

      Is there any other explanation than – that Damadian was not included with the other because he is Armenian ?
      What is it ?
      Let’s hear it.

    • Another reason might be that for years prior to 2003 he was agitating with the Nobel Committee to receive the prize. Long before he had come up with his (not very good) version of a scanner he thought that his discovery merited the Nobel. He was scathing in his attacks on anyone who dared to question his “discovery”. Maybe it was lack of scientific humility that led to his downfall.

  14. I agree with Viken on one point. The Nobel “peace” prize is a shamelessly political gimmick. However, the Nobel prizes are not all given out by the same body or the same country. The “peace” prize is given out by Norwegian govt appointed committee. The prizes in science, medicine, literature, and so on are awarded by a Swedish govt committee.
    So you can’t blame the Swedes for the “peace” prize’s shamelessness, although I don’t much like the Swedish govt for various reasons. That said, the prizes awarded by the Swedes sometimes also seem to have political motives. For instance, the late Jorge Luis Borges, a great Argentinian writer in Spanish, never got the Nobel literature prize, although many thought him the worthiest author for that award. This was ascribed to Borges’ conservative political leanings. Nevertheless, the prizes awarded by the Swedish Academy are no way as shameless or absurd as the Norwegian-awarded “peace” prizes.

    • Is this the same organization the gave Obama the noble “PEACE” price?!?


      You know why the jokes never end in this world?. because the are never ending supply of gullible sheep or the make pretend ones like you around.

  15. Nomad:

    {“ I would suggest that the author do a more thorough research indicative of what a investigative journalist would do before coming to hasty conclusions.”}

    I would suggest that you do your own investigation, Nomad, not rely on Wiki for your ‘research’, and not accuse a professor of “coming to hasty conclusions”.

    This is the man you are accusing of “coming to hasty conclusions”

    [George B. Kauffman, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry (1956-1992), Guggenheim Fellow, recipient of numerous national and international awards, and a frequent contributor to the scientific literature]

    And what is your Ph.D. in, Nomad ?
    From which University ?
    And in which University you are currently a professor ?
    And how many scientific papers have you written ?
    And how many national and international awards have you received ?

    Your bias is clearly showing, friend.
    And you are complaining about alleged “…ethnocentric or bigoted comments here” ?

    And I did read the Wiki article: lots of twists and turns in the MRI saga; but the subtle undercurrent of politics re MRI Nobel is unmistakable.
    Here is one citation: {“ In recording the history of MRI, Mattson and Simon (1996) credit Damadian with describing the concept of whole-body NMR scanning, as well as discovering the NMR tissue relaxation differences that made this feasible.”}
    What say you, Nomad ? Can I reach the hasty conclusion from your favourite Wiki that Damadian did in fact invent MRI ?

    And, no, the author did not write Damadian did not get the Nobel because he is Armenian: I wrote that.
    And I reached that non-hasty conclusion after considerable research.

    As to the Jewish IQ, Armenians, Nobel, etc: very interesting subject.
    Many reasons why Armenians do not compare favourably to Jews in intellectual achievement in _modern_ times.
    But there is no doubt that Jews are smart people.
    High achievers in many intellectual fields.
    Nevertheless, let us not forget that US accounts for 270 Nobels (next one is England at 100).
    There are 6 million Jews in US. Been here a lot longer than Armenians.
    US and Europe completely dominate the Nobel haul.
    And how long have Jews been living in North America and European counties ?
    How long have Armenians been under the yoke of Turks ?
    How do Armenians in Tsarist Russia & USSR compare in intellectual achievement to Armenians in Ottoman Turkey ?
    Any Nobel prize winners amongst Turkish Jews ?

  16. Raymond Damadian (Dr. MRI)
    He Doesn’t Need (the so-called) Nobel Prize
    Those Who Gambled Not to Give Him
    Let Them Rotten with Endless Shames

    Your surname doesn’t sound Armenian
    Sounds Arabian, from the verb ‘Damada’
    The meaning encloses: after treating the fractured bone
    Bandaging or plastering with cotton and gauze.

    Could it be when Arab Caliph invaded Armenia
    Your ancestors treated Arab soldiers’ wounds?
    Instead of leaving them untreated to die.
    So they called your family Damadian—
    Truly humane and medical name.

    You discovered MRI…
    You must work harder now.
    To discover new and deeper rays…
    To screen Slayers’ Brain cells.

    Those who end innocent lives
    With some neutrons of guilt.
    That magic machine is needed everywhere
    To clear humanity of criminals.

    As well as to screen the brains
    Of scientific arrogant jealous associates.
    Those refused to honor you with a Nobel Prize
    With hubrisness, yet without disgrace.

    Tonight, we’re honoring you Armenian Nobel Prize.
    From our Soulful Honest Hearts
    Hopes be remembered through centuries
    With dignity and gracefulness.

    Sylva Portoian,M.D, MSc, MFCM. MFPHM, FRCP.CH (UK)
    This verse was written on the Occasion when prof. Damadian was invited to give a talk for the ‘Spring Gala’ of Armenian American Medical Association (AAMA) on April 17, 2010, that gala was organized by Dr. Lilit Garibyan, MD, PhD (Harvard).

    This verse will appear in my 16th poetry collection, April 2014
    “Gomidas My Secret God”

  17. Avery,

    I have done a cursory look into the idea that Damadian is the father of MRI and a foregone Nobel Laureate candidate. I made no claim that he did not or still does not deserve to get the award, if even it is possible to award him after the fact. I have merely stated that the author has not presented a more objective analysis of the case. The author alluded to “universally accepted” claim which I have provided ample evidence that is not the case. The author has included only the references which support the notion that Damadian should have been given the prize, but has excluded other notable references who have disagreed with that contention. The author advocates his position very well, providing the positives and leaving out the negatives. I have merely pointed out that there are holes in his analysis which need further bolstering before anyone can accept his argument. Yes I did use the wiki source and even though I realize it is not a citable source in the academic circles, it is a jumping ground for doing further research and surveying an area. Besides, my comments are not intended as scholarly work but just what they are, as commentary. Apparently the author too has cited another wiki article for his report so I don’t see why I need to be held to a higher standard than him.
    Let’s clarify another thing Avery, as another commentator quickly realized, you are making a fundamental error in logic. Epistemicaly you are making an erroneous claim, that is the notion that I or anyone else has to prove a negative. I have no such burden, the person making the claim bears the burden ofproviding justification for the claim. In this case the author has made the claim that Damadian is “universally recognized as the originator of the MRI…” to which I have supplied information that rebuts that claim. I have merely submitted that there is a conflict with what he has claimed and what the evidence suggests. Furthermore, I do not have to do any investigation or research because I am NOT the author. I am not making the claim but merely refuting it. I have provided a rejoinder and the author is more than welcome to provide his sources which back up his claim. I have not seen the source anywhere in his article and did not find it on wiki, again, assuming wiki has some credibility in the info it is providing.
    Aside with the ad-hominem rhetoric you have displayed with questioning my credentials; yet another logical fallacy emerges; appeal to authority. Except in this case he may not even be an authority that you are appealing to so it may not be a true appeal to authority fallacy. No, I do not have a Ph.D, No I have not published any scientific papers, No, No, and No with regard to the other snarky questions you posed. Quite frankly, it is irrelevant what my credentials are because my criticism stands on its merits and not because I am making them. You see the hidden ad-hominem here? You are attacking the person making the argument rather than the argument itself. It is completely irrelevant that the author has a Ph.D in Chemistry or has received this award or another because the evidence he is providing does not comport with his conclusions. Regardless if I am a Ph.D or a Plumber, everything is kosher so long as I am making a sound and valid argument which refutes the author’s contention. In the alternative, even if I were to assume the author is a source of authority, his claims still have to stand based on the evidence provided and not just because he is an authoritative figure; again appeal to authority fallacy. And even if I use your fallacious logic, the author would not even be a authority in these matters because his expertise are in Chemistry, as you alluded to, and not in regards to MRI or even in history or journalism which would be germane to deciding this issue.

    Since you did read the wiki article then you know that the story is not as clear cut as the author makes it out to be, which is what I have been arguing for. And yes the author did not make the claim that Damadian was not given the prize because he was Armenian, but it seemed to me you were implying that is what the author stated. That is why I called that into question as well. Why you would think Damadian was left out because of his ethnicity is perplexing, to me at least. Just because they could give the award to three people and only gave it out to two, does not mean they did it out of spite or just because he was Armenian. That is absurd. There could be other reasons why they did what they did; none of which I know for a fact but the author of the article has alluded to some which requires a more in-depth investigation as to their veracity. As I have already cited, there was a panel investigation by the NAS which concluded that none of the final milestones chronicling the advent of the MRI were attributed to Damadian. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Vahan_Damadian). Furthermore supported by the MRI expert who suggested if a poll was conducted in the “…research community, they would come out very seriously in agreement with the Nobel committee.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/11/us/doctor-disputes-winners-of-nobel-in-medicine.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm)
    To recap what I suggested, we should reserve judgment until a more thorough and comprehensive study is done before we decide what Damadian is owed or not!
    You do however provide interesting points to consider in-re IQ and Jews as Nobel Laureates. The other articles I cited discuss at length what the possible reasons are for Jews who have such academic prowess and one of the reasons is that they are minorities living in Western countries, who have been historically oppressed. I don’t know how Armenians from the Soviet times or before compare to the rest of the intelligencia or even Armenians living under the Ottoman rule. I do not know how Turkish Jews fare with the rest of their compatriots either. This however, is fertile ground for future research for those who are interested.

  18. “There are 6 million Jews in US. Been here a lot longer than Armenians.”
    At least one Armenian arrived at Jamestown in 1619, according to historical accounts. Be careful of categorical assumptions.

    • OK, Lolo: I will play the game.

      Obviously 1 Armenian being here in 1618 makes all the difference in the world, right ?
      One Armenian tobacco grower from Iran that somehow found himself in Jamestown.

      Let’s play the numbers game then:
      (numbers and dates rounded, ballpark)

      1880s: Armenians in US about 1,500.
      1880s: Jews in USA about 250,000.

      Circa 1919: Armenians in USA about 80,000.
      Circa 1915: Jews in USA about 2,000,000.

      Present: Armenians in US about 1,000,000.
      (some sources say 1.5 million)
      Present: Jews in US about 6,500,000.

      The larger wave of Armenians immigrants came to US _starting_ late 1970s, early 1980s.

      So yes, Jews cumulatively have been here a lot longer and in far larger numbers than Armenians.
      It’s not even close.

      And the fact that you would bring up 1 Armenian being here in 1618 to counter-argue the gist of what I was stating about Jews shows what your agenda is, doesn’t it ?
      Isn’t it obvious that if you have 2,000,000 (2 million !) Jews here in 1915 vs 80,000 Armenians here in 1919, then Jews have had a massive head start in a safe, entrepreneurial, intellectually stimulating environment such as the US, founded by (enlightened) Christian Europeans and largely populated by same ?

      During the time period when Armenians were worried about survival – literally – in a backwards, oppressive country ruled by Islamic Turks, whose ancestors were Asiatic nomads, Jews were already here in immense numbers. There surely was discrimination against Jews in US at the time, but no one was attempting to exterminate them here.

      So I’d say what I wrote about Jews was not an assumption, but a factual statement backed by hard empirical data.

  19. Avery,
    I see you made some valid points, and they quickly changed their tune.

    @all you naysayers:
    It’s a sad state of affairs when some of us not only don’t support our progress and recognition, but actually put in an effort to bring harm when a wrong is trying to be righted. At least if you all knew what you were talking about, there would be a valid reason for your behavior.


    What part of that don’t you understand? Would you like the patent number from THIS ARTICLE since you can’t find it on wikipedia? It’s “U.S. Patent No. 3789832, Feb. 5, 1974”.

    And is it a hard concept to understand when two others get a Nobel prize for supposedly “their discoveries” but in reality ‘improving’, but not *inventing* MRI, and the actual inventor is ignored, that something is extremely wrong here, especially in light of the fact that there was a third spot available? They should have filled the third spot with an award to a random person passing by on the street, so that they wouldn’t make their bigoted decision obvious.

    Contrary to what is being claimed here, the author was actually quite thorough without getting too techy. We got what was important and what matters. Damadian invented the MRI, got it patented, and people wanted to steal his ideas, not give him credit and wished he would just go away. I am pretty sure that being of Armenian extraction had something to do with it, at least in part. He didn’t get the Nobel he deserved, but the wrongs that were committed against Damadian ended up costing them $128 million in a lawsuit.

    And with these facts, anyone that would even dare challenge whether Damadian deserved a Nobel prize is far removed from simple logic.

    • Indeed Hagop D.

      it is beyond my comprehension that any Armenian, let alone several, would go out of their way to besmirch one of our own – particularly when all circumstantial and actual evidence points to the man being wronged, and being wronged terribly.

      Nobel prize is unique in this World: no medals, awards, or monetary compensation are a substitute. None.

      “…far removed from simple logic.”
      Or has an ulterior motive and agenda.

  20. GOLDEN RULE. Anyone who starts a blame game, then there is something bigger they are trying to cover up.. & take your attention from. This self blame game can be characterized as a “vicious cycle… of no end”. Shake it off. Open your eyes. And you shall see what they are trying to veen you off.

    Raymond Damadian has Touched more Lives Than Any one commenting on this site. He has given..and in ways that you don’t want to acknowledge… he is nothing more than a Genius who has changed the face of Medicine! Just like Steve Jobs who changed the face of Technology! We Armenians have this beautiful ability to create and share!

    How has this Armenian Man helped Armenians?
    It only takes 1 Armenian to save more than 1.5 Million Turkish Lives.

    Nobel Prize…Raymond Damadian needs to receive… because that is how this society views success. By using the reaction of a person when they are unfairly bypassed of a Nobel Prize, as reasons why they were not given the Nobel Prize…shows the shallowness & simple mindedness of the Nobel Prize committee members (in my opinion). IF that is how things should be, then Nobel himself WOULDN’T of have been able to receive the Nobel prize himself.

    As for this constant bypass of Armenians who have contributed to this world going unnoticed in timely manner, it is RACISM!

    But wait, I can see it… “Damadian Prize”… so Prestigious, so Honorable, so Golden.. why NOt? Let’s Create!! Let’s Create One More Time: “DAMADIAN PRIZE”!! “DAMADIAN PRIZE”!! “DAMADIAN PRIZE”!!

  21. From my judgment and knowledge on MRI, NMR and various accounts of scientific contribution, Raymond Damadian deserves a Nobel prize for his contribution regardless of his religious belief, race or others. Not doing so is an injustice

  22. His last name: “DAMADIAN” sounds Iranian (Farsi) to me, before his family immigrated to Turkey and then to USA. Wouldn’t that be from one of the Armenian families who have been living in Iran for 200 years? I believe such a background means his Dad was Iranian. You get American Citizenship within 5 years and call yourselves American.

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