Home > Life > A real life hero. Why we should all know about and thank this great scientist!

A real life hero. Why we should all know about and thank this great scientist!

Clair Patterson

Clair Patterson

The late Claire Patterson is someone we should all thank at least once in our lives but sadly very few people have even heard of him. Apart from inventing and using the uranium-lead dating method to calculate the definitive age of the earth in 1953, Claire is the main reason that a major pollutant, lead was removed as an additive from things such as petrol (gasoline) and paint.

We are all the beneficiaries of Claire’s work with the general public having around an 80% reduction in lead blood levels as a direct result. The health outcomes are a reduced risk of lead poisoning and all the associated health problems including fatigue, abdominal pain, low IQ and learning and behaviour disorders in children.

Since his recommendations were going to decimate the revenue of lead additive manufactures such as the powerful Ethyl Corporation, Claire was subjected to financial and professional privation as they tried to sideline him. People like Claire Patterson are the true heroes in life, people who overcome tremendous obstacles and persecution in the pursuit of truth and the benefit of mankind.

See his Wikipedia profile here. Also another informative post here.

Read about his story in Bill Bryson’s – A Short History of Nearly Everything.


UPDATE: February, 2015
This issue could be a long way from being resolved and have much wider ramifications, see this program on ABC Catalyst…


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  1. Adam
    January 3rd, 2011 at 22:59 | #1


    I have read about Patterson in the Bryson’s book and then I found your article, which, I think, swiftly summarises who this great person was. I have let to create a facebook group (Clair Patterson Memorial) and put your text in a description.

    I do believe that this guy could be one of the greatest heroes of the mankind.

    Thank you.


  2. admin
    February 15th, 2011 at 10:01 | #2

    Thanks Adam, I am glad Clair is remembered and recognised and that more people will be inspired to follow his example. James Hermans

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