X-Message-Number: 10207
Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 15:11:27 -0700
From: Paul Wakfer <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10199 Degrees
References: <>

Note: I have renamed this thread "Degrees" since I believe that degrees
have little relevance to "cryobiologists' qualifications" the new title
that Robert Ettinger gave it.

In Message #10199 Sat, 8 Aug 1998 12:44:01 EDT
Robert Ettinger wrote (a really sorry piece of work):

> Dr. Yuri Pichugin has done considerable work under the auspices of the
> Cryonics Institute and the Immortalist Society. He has repeated and evaluated
> the CI sheep head work, done cat brain work, and was the first to show
> coordinated electrical activity in networks of neurons in rabbit brain pieces
> thawed from liquid nitrogen temperature. (This may have partly inspired the
> planned hippocampal slice work planned in California.)

I can state categorically that whatever Pichugin did had nothing
whatever to do with the ideas and decisions which led to the Hippocampal
Slice Cryopreservation Project. BTW, "slices" as used here is a well
defined technical term which may or may not have any relationship to
> Paul Wakfer (#10184) questioned Yuri Pichugin's right to be called "Dr."

Incorrect. I questioned Ettinger's constant titling of him as "Dr.
Pichugin" without further explanation, especially when he would not be
called "Dr. Pichugin" by his fellow scientists in the Ukraine or Russia.
> and
> implied that this would give Dr. Pichugin's words more credibility than they
> deserved.

Incorrect again. I stated and implied that titles, for anyone, tended to
give work *a priori* credibility, and sometimes misled people to not
objectively ascertain the value of the work. I admit, however, that
sometimes this can used as a quick method of determination of worth, or
because one does not have the expertise to evaluate for oneself. What I
object to, is its constant use as a "promotional" tool.

> I posted a brief reply, but failed to take advantage of the
> opportunity to say more, which I will now do.

Here Ettinger shows his true colors and intent: to raise his own
personal stature and that of his organization at every possible turn,
never mind that distortions are made nor that others are often
denigrated in the process.
> I said my understanding was that Dr. Pichugin's status was equivalent to our
> Ph.D.

As I have now shown, this understanding is incorrect. I will expect to
see a correction to this appear in _The Immortalist_.

> Regardless of that, the underlying question (from Wakfer's implied
> viewpoint) is the extent of his formal credentials in cryobiology.

Distorted again. I have really no concern about Pichugin's credentials,
formal or not. The worth of his work will and should stand or fall on
its own. All that I "question" is the continued emphasis of a
questionable title by Ettinger and his publications.
> I leave aside the special case of Greg Fahy. He has more publications in
> cryobiology than Dr. Pichugin, but his connection, if any, to cryonics or to
> any cryonics organization is undisclosed, unless we count some unclear and
> varying  reports of agreements with 21CM and INC.

For the record, Greg Fahy has been a full-time 21CM employee for many
months. Under an agreement between 21CM and INC, Greg will be made
available for oversight of the Hippocampal Slice Cryopreservation
Project (which he conceived) as and when necessary. The day-to-day
experimental work will be conducted by a full-time technician hired by
the research institute for that purpose.

> Oh yes, let's not forget Dr. Pichugin's collaborator in the sheep head
> work--electron microscopist Dr. Gennadi Zhegunov, Professor and Chairman of
> the Department of Biology at Kharkov University.

It is my understanding that Dr. Zhegunov's highest degree is "Dr. Sci."
and he is addressed as Dr. in the Ukraine whereas Yuri Pichugin's
highest degree is "Cand. Sci." and he is not addressed as Dr. in the
I leave the rest of Robert Ettinger's post for other implicated parties
to comment if they choose.

-- Paul --

 Voice/Fax: 909-481-9620 Page: 800-805-2870
The Institute for Neural Cryobiology - http://neurocryo.org
Perfected cryopreservation of Central Nervous System tissue
for neuroscience research and medical repair of brain diseases

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