Part 7: In Addition…


Read and reported

In addition, one should note that Carlsson, when he wrote his expert statement (Arvid Carlsson, Expert statement), actually had read and reported on Falck, B. and A. Torp: New evidence for the localization of noradrenalin in adrenergic nerve terminals (Med Exp 1962) that is: the definitely first publication and the absolutely first description of cellular localization in nerve cells.

As far as I know, this is the only time that he mentions this scientific article. This is an undeniable proof that his very different historical account (Carlsson’s official note 1965) of 1965 is a myth. Followingly, he is compelled always later on to deny its existence.

Did he not tell the truth?

Did he not tell the truth in his public report to the Medical Faculty of Lund? Well, certainly he did.

This is also corroborated in a letter written by my laboratory assistant Kerstin Fogelström — a person possessing a very good memory — who worked closely with us in all our experiments on the progress of the formaldehyde method.

In July, 2010, she wrote to me (Kerstin F, Letter about formaldehyde):

“Hi, Bengt!

Of course I remember when we started to work with paraformaldehyde. I recall that it was soon after Åke’s (Hillarp´s,editors marking) move to Göteborg in 1960. One day, you approached me and suggested that we would try paraformaldehyde rather than formaldehyde. That was fortunate, because soon afterward we could see the first fluorescent terminal nerve fibres, and I remember the energy that this conveyed to our lab. We did lots of experiments to create a sure and reliable method. What happiness it was when we finally were successful! It was a great time.
Warm regards,

So — why did Arvid Carlsson invent the myth that the formaldhyde method emerged on a single day in the fall of 1961? He must be fully aware that his version flies in the face of reality.

The myth was published

Arvid Carlsson´s myth was even permitted – to my anguish – to be published in a book produced by my own Faculty of Medicine, University of Lund The roots of BMC, Medicinska Fakulteten, Lunds universitet, 2001. On pp. 57–70 is an article by Annica Dahlström, Nils Åke Hiller Hillarp (1916–1965) – en originell banbrytare. The myth appears on page 64 of this book, that presumes to have been published for the sole purpose of supplying historical truths, even though prior to the publication I gave the responsible local person, the editor, a complete explanation with all objective proofs of the true story – as described above.

The editor, an Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, is a well-known and acknowledged medical historian who in his capacity as such indeed should have reality as his overseer. The reason why he allowed himself to be blinded by this myth is mysterious. His firm belief in Carlsson´s myth, probably combined with the fact that he was hard pressed by the submission of objective evidence, is illustrated by the fact that he, in August of 2003, wrote an e-mail suggesting that I with Torp had published certain observations that at the time were unknown to Åke Hillarp. Obviously, he is referring to my and Torp’s publication in Med. Exp. 1962 (Med Exp 1962). I believe that to be the worst insult I have been exposed to during my long life. In this context I want to emphasize that Nils-Åke Hillarp thoroughly, and in an amicable manner, did peruse the manuscript that was submitted to the editorial office of Medicina Experimentalis (Med Exp 1962)

A power in the myth

It can be concluded that there is a power in the myth that oppresses the truth (Bengt Falck – The Lund Histochemist… Research by Richard Burack). The myth has now become a lingering lie. How can things like that take place? Because the myth was created by a Nobel Prize winner?

These two colleagues, Carlsson and Dahlström, maintain that the histochemical procedure was not developed in the way I have described above. Of course, they do not anywhere mention the contents of Falck, B. and A.Torp: New evidence for the localization of noradrenalin in adrenergic nerve terminals Med.exp. 1962, 6: 169–172 (Med Exp 1962), as this would have clearly revealed the error in the untruth that the initial visualization of fluorescent nerves was accomplished in a single day in August 1961.

Were they unaware or did they forget?

One might ask if it is possible that they were unaware of or had forgotten the 1962 article by Falck and Torp. No, that is not the case, because the 1962 article is included in the list of References in their publication of 1986, but there it lives an obscure existence without comment upon it or reference to it anywhere in body of their paper.

The story continues… Part 8: Witness To The Historical Truth