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ReciprocityProject's Journal: Recommended Reading: Arrowsmith

Journal by ReciprocityProject

"I lay awake half the night thinking about your discovery, Dr. Gottlieb. I've been talking to the technical director and sales-manager, and we feel it's the time to strike. We'll patent your method of synthesizing antibodies and immediately put them on the market in large quantities, with a great big advertising campaign -- you know -- not circus it, of course -- strictly high-class ethical advertising. We'll start with anti-diptheria serum. By the way, when you recieve your next check you'll find we've raised your honorarium to seven thousand a year." Hunziker was a large purring pussy now and Gottlieb death-still.

"Need I say, my dear fellow, that if there's the demand I anticipate, you will have exceedingly large comissions coming!" . . .

Gottlieb spoke nervously: "I do not approve of patenting serological processes. They should be open to all laboratories. And I am strongly against premature production or even announcement. I think I am right, but I must check my technique, perhaps improve it -- be sure. Then I should think there should be no objection to market production, but in ve-ry small quantities and in fair competition with others, not under patents, as if this was a dinglebat toy for the Christmas tradings!"

"My dear fellow, I quite sympathize. Personally I should like nothing so much as to spend my whole life in just producing one priceless scientific discovery, without consideration of mere profit. But we have our duty toward the stockholders of the Dawson Hunziker Company to make money for them. Do you realize they have -- and many of them are poor widows and orphans -- invested their Little All in our stock, and that we must keep faith? I am helpless; I am but their Humble Servant. And on the other side: I think we've treated you rather well, Dr. Gottlieb, and we've given you complete freedom. And we intend to go on treating you well! Why, man, you'll be rich; you'll be one of us! I don't like to make any demands, but on this point it's my duty to insist, and I shall expect you at the earliest possible moment to start manufacturing --"

Gottlieb was sixty-two. The defeat at Winnemac had done something to his courage. . . . And he had no contract with Hunziker.

He protested shakily, but as he crawled back to his laboratory it seemed impossible for him to leave his sanctuary and face the murderous brawling world, and quite as impossible to tolerate a cheapened and ineffective imitation of his anti-toxin. He began, that hour, a sordid strategy which his proud old self would have called inconceivable; he began to equivocate, to put off announcement and production till he should have "cleared up a few points," while week on week Hunziker became more threatening. Meantime he prepared for disaster. He moved his family to a smaller house, and gave up every luxury, even smoking.

-- Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis (Chapter 13)

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Recommended Reading: Arrowsmith

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