Motivation – Part I

Did you ever drop a book after reading and said “This is it! I want to become a biologist”? Did u ever tell a story to your student, son, daughter, or  a friend which motivated them to become a scientist or a historian? If not and if you wish to, then I shall suggest you one with great exhilaration. But before I begin, I must say that I owe infinite thanks to Sri T.N. Keshava, associate professor in physics from SDM College, Ujire who inspired me academically, personally and professionally.  He is the man of great wisdom and famously known as walking Encyclopedia in the college campus for his profound knowledge in all branches of academics including science, history, economics, arts and culture. However the below socioscientific exploration is equally inspiring and impressive…

This story is an intriguing true investigation of a young Harvard University graduate, an ethnobotanist, a world renown anthropologist and a real life Indiana Jones – Dr. Wade Davis. Dr. Davis was set out on a mission into the  Haitian secret society in 1982 upon the request of his mentor Richard Schultes and psychiatrist Nathan Kline, director of Rockland State Research Institute, New York in search of drugs that are of great pharmacological potential.  Dr. Davis is the author of international best seller The Serpent and The Rainbow (1985) that masterfully narrates his deep scientific and sociocultural exploration of Haitian Voodoo.

However the book also received wide criticism and anger from many scientists and anthropologists of his genre. The story was later filmed into motion picture in 1988 directed by Wes Craven. The Serpent and The Rainbow (book) is an eccentric journey of adventure, courage and quest for the veracity that takes you to the ultimate battleground of science and religion. It lets you know the terminal roots of all the Hollywood B grade zombie movies, light and dark side of the Haitian Voodoo, their beliefs and practices. However the movie fails to give the full details of the  story and borders on the absurd. Nevertheless it is one movie that deserves to be included in the science academic syllabi.

 On May 2, 1962, Clairvius Narcisse was declared dead by two medical practitioners at Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  Two of his sisters- Angelina and Marie Claire confirmed his death and signed his death certificate. Clairvius was  buried in his village, I’Estere  in the presence of his family and village men…

18 years later a vacant-eyed man walks to Angelina in the marketplace and identifies himself as her brother, Clairvius.

Let me continue this on the next post, meanwhile watch the movie if you can 🙂