Meeting Science Legend Dr Barry Marshall

Here’s a story that made my day, my week and my year. It’s not every day that a science nerd gets to meet Nobel prize-winning science legend Dr Barry Marshall!

I’m selling some test and measurement equipment, so I get to speak to interested and interesting folks about said vintage equipment. I’ve had several phone chats with a gentleman by the name of Barry Marshall. I’m generally pretty good at joining dots, but not on this occasion… Sorry, Barry!

Somehow, despite having been immersed in science my entire adult life and having taught high-school students about the very discovery this man is famous for, I didn’t make the connection. Standing right in front of me was the delightful Dr Barry Marshall, Professor @ UWA (where I studied) and 2005 Nobel prize winner in the field of Medicine! Holy WOW!

“Mike, what did you do today?” “Oh not much, just took a selfie and chatted with a Nobel Prize winner..!” That’s Barry Marshall on the left by the way.

Gastric Ulcers

It was a real honour to meet such a humble man, who, with Dr Robin Warren, discovered the role of bacteria in the formation of gastric ulcers. Remember how people thought ulcers came from eating hot food and drinking too much? These guys threw all that on its head, revealing the true nature of gastric ulcers and the path to their treatment.

Barry famously even gave himself ulcers to validate data linking their formation to the bacteria he suspected of causing them. That’s devotion to the cause. It’s no secret how passionate I am about science. Science ultimately reveals all, given time and Barry and Robin’s work is a classic example of paradigm shift through scientific discovery. Just think, only a few hundred years ago we thought the Earth was flat.

You can find out more about Barry Marshall by watching this recent video, made by YouTuber and engineer, Dave Jones. Also, check out his Australian Academy of Science page.

Barry and I had a great conversation about our shared passion for vintage test gear and Barry purchased a couple of pieces from me. I took great pride in showing him my workshop and my test and measurement instrument collection. Nerdy? You bet! It really made my day to meet such a great guy and someone who’s made such a contribution to medical science.

Here’s a pic of me, pointing to my favourite Tektronix 2465B oscilloscope, an instrument Barry also owns.

Me, proudly showing some of my test gear to Dr Barry Marshall

All in all, Barry’s visit was thoroughly enjoyable for me and I hope for him too. It’s not every day that you get to meet a Nobel Prize winner and all-around legend. My thanks to Dr Barry Marshall for taking these great photos.

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