Thursday, July 12, 2012

My type of super-hero

If I decided to put a poster on the wall of my biggest hero it would be a seriously geeky admission. You see, I’m a long-time fan of Professor Graeme Clark, the inventor of the multiple-electrode cochlear implant. That’s the bionic ear in case you’re not sure. I’m known to rave about him on a semi-regular basis. If he had a fan club, I’d sign up.

It’s not just the enormity of what he was able to invent, it’s also the fact that he did it in the face of great opposition. Many colleges felt he was attempting the impossible and that this kind of surgery was unethical on healthy patients. With almost no funding, and in the face of huge scepticism and ridicule, he put all of his reputation on the line for his vision of helping the deaf to hear. His story of determination in the midst of significant obstacles reads like any great hero’s tale.

If you are interested in reading his story, there’s a good interview with him here.  It’s hard to do justice to the man’s integrity and humility.

As a footnote, his wife Margaret was my English teacher in Year 9. She set us a book report on a book of our choice for one term’s school holiday project. We were scheduled to read The Merchant of Venice aloud in class the next term. I badly wanted the part of Portia so I decided to read War and Peace for my book report in the hope of impressing her enough to guarantee me the part. I really am a dag.  But I got the part.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

War and Peace?! I'm impressed! J