The following is a tribute to Karl Maramorosch, Robert L. Starkey emeritus professor in the Department of Entomology of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, by Executive Dean Bob Goodman on the occasion of Maramorosch’s 100th birthday on January 16, 2015.
Few of us will be fortunate enough to pass the century mark in our lives, not to mention reaching 100 years of age and still being an active, productive scholar, lecturer, world traveler and mentor. For Karl Maramorosch, that fortunate milestone is just a small piece of what he would call a very lucky life, indeed.
Among the countless prizes and honors Karl has received during his career, he understandably is proudest of the Wolf Prize in Agriculture, bestowed upon him in 1980 by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. This honor is widely considered the Nobel Prize of agriculture, and Karl was cited “for his pioneering and wide-ranging studies on interactions between insects and disease agents in plants.”
Karl’s Wikipedia profile describes him as a virologist, entomologist and plant pathologist. That doesn’t begin to sketch a life that easily could have become a major motion picture. To get an idea of this remarkable man, one needs only to read Karl’s memoir. Here are some of the revelations:
“When the suggestion was made to write my biographical chapter for Advances in Virus Research, I did not know how difficult a task that would be – where to start, what to say, what to omit? I decided to start with my childhood and describe events in my life that inspired me to become a virologist and that were responsible for my scientific career.” [Read more…]