ArtFire Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Douglas Prasher, standing outside the Toyota dealership where he works in Huntsville, Alabama. Image from the Cape Cod Times.

Significant contributions to the world cannot be designed by one individual. Rather, they are a group project, crafted and developed by a handful of talented workers, rather than just the two or three who get the credit. This is true in the crafting world just as it is true in the scientific world. And no one knows this better than Douglas Prasher.

In 1988, Prasher was at the top of scientific research world. His work on jellyfish proteins helped gain Roger Tsien and Martin Chalfie the 2008 Nobel Prize, according to the Cape Cod Times. And while these men will be collecting a $ 1.4 million check, Prasher will be making his living driving a courtesy shuttle at a car dealership.

But Prasher regrets nothing. After his grant ran out in 1992, Prasher willing gave his data and samples to fellow scientists and friends Chalfie and Tsien. They continued his research, and were granted the Nobel Prize last week with Osamu Shimomura after formulating a new way to help treat cancer cells using glowing jellyfish proteins. That many sound strange, but it has enormous potential in preventing the spread of cancer in the human body.

Although he has helped secure his fellow scientists money and praise, Prasher was happy to help. He thinks about the larger impact his work will have on cancer treatment, and is proud to have contributed.

This kind of selflessness is something that everyone can aspire to. Whether you’re an artisan or a scientist, a craftsman or a chemist, you can appreciate the importance of the sharing of ideas for the common good.

While people often try to protect their original ideas, at, we encourage artist cooperation and teamwork. So don’t be greedy with your craft ideas. Get out there was a community and make an impact!

Click here to read the full article on Douglas Prasher by the Cape Cod Times.

Click here to read my Behind ArtFire Beta Blog.