Wednesday, January 24, 2018

One Of Us - Ben Barres

Mourning Ben Barres, The Transgender Scientist Who Changed Neuroscience

Matthew Herper - Forbes 

Ben Barres
a neurobiologist at Stanford University's
Medical Center
(Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Ben Barres, a neuroscientist who established the importance of glial cells, which comprise 9 in 10 brain cells  died on December 27. The cause was pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from Stanford University, where he was a professor and where he chaired the department of neurobiology until he was diagnosed last April.

“Ben was a remarkable person. He will be remembered as a brilliant scientist who transformed our understanding of glial cells and as a tireless advocate who promoted equity and diversity at every turn,” said Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, president of Stanford University, in a press release. "He was also a beloved mentor to students and trainees, a dear friend to many in our community and a champion for the fundamental dignity of us all.”

Barres is remembered for his trailblazing scientific work, but also for the causes he fought for. He was openly and adamantly transexual, and was the first trans person admitted into the National Academies of Science. He was a tireless advocate for women in academia, and for his students. Professors often hold on to their students projects; Barre insisted they take those projects with them.  He was a figure toward whom a great many other scientists felt a strong emotional bond. I found this out last night when I posted a link to Stanford's news release announcing his death on Twitter, and was blown away by the dozens of heartfelt responses.

Read the whole article using the link above.  A super interesting person and community advocate.   

Ben Barres: "It's No Longer Necessary to Live in the Closet"

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