Between merit and misinterpretations, the Romanian scientist Nicolae Paulescu (1869-1931) has all his life faught actually for truth and ethics in his profession and in life.
In 1916 he was to discover a pancreatic extract having the property to normalize the blood sugar level. It was nothing else than the insuline, and the results of tests applied to diabetic dogs were to be published later, between April and June 1921 at the Society of Biology in Paris. An extinguished paper of Paulescu on this subject appeared in August in the Archives Internationales de Physiologie in Liège, in 1922, and the method by which Nicolae Paulescu succeeded in preparing this extract was patented in Romania in 1922. But in 1923 Frederick Banting and John Macleod were to be awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery based on a paper published by them in December 1922. They had falsely invoked that the paper of Professor Paulescu previously published contained an absolutely inverse result than the one obtained by them.
The situation seems similar to the one of Damadian- the discoverer of the MRI scanning who, by a similar not too noble error, was not awarded the Noble Prize.
Being contemporary with new trends in science, such as the Darwin theory, and being against it (like Damadian actually, who believed in the divine creation), it is very possible that Professor Paulescu encountered reticences in the recognition of his merits because of this. Professor Paulescu had very strong and logical motivations against the theory of Charles Darwin. And his straight untangible position standed against this current like a rock.
On the other hand, the Darwin current, even if without experimental support was so largely spread out and so full of influence that Professor Paulescu could probably get serious enemies instead of friends. At the same time, Professor Paulescu shared some tough considerations in his papers about the brains of the Jews of those times (Wikipedia). Also, the epoch was turbulent enough to consider these considerations antisemitic. There were times when one could not even express without fear the truth that a certain individual has black skin and another one has white skin. He could be submitted to the public opprobrium for this.
The distinguished Romanian Jewish Academician of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, Nicolae Cajal, tried to explain recently, in the years 2000, the Pauelscu's scientific merits regarding insulin should be widely recognized. The Academician considered that the scientific merits of Professor Paulescu should be separated from the private views.
However, nowadays, Professor Paulescu is still covered by an unrighteouss oblivion.
Near the Medical School of Bucharest-ROMANIA, his statue still hopes and waits.