February 14, 2013

Nevin Scrimshaw, RIP: An architect of the Flynn Effect

From the NYT:
Nevin S. Scrimshaw, Pioneer Nutritionist, Dies at 95 
Dr. Nevin S. Scrimshaw, a nutritionist who improved the health of millions of children in developing countries by creating low-cost vegetable-based foods for weaning infants, died on Friday in Plymouth, N.H. He was 95. 
To help protein-starved children in Central America, Dr. Scrimshaw created a gruel made of corn, sorghum and cottonseed flour that was nutritionally equivalent to milk. In India, he adapted the same principle to peanut flour and wheat. He then brought both products to market, where they sold for only pennies. 
Working in Central America, Dr. Scrimshaw also helped eliminate endemic goiter in children — a swelling of the thyroid gland that can lead to mental retardation, deafness and dwarfism. The ailment is caused by a mother’s iodine deficiency. 
Dr. Scrimshaw found that European and American techniques to iodize salt were ineffective with the crude, moist salt of Central America, so he came up with a new iodine compound that proved effective there. He then worked with governments in the region to require iodation of all salt for human consumption. 

Good man, cool name.


dearieme said...

From the surname database:

Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Scrimgeour, Scriminger, Scrymegour, Scrimger, Scriminger, Skrimshire, and Scrimshaw, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname of Old French origins. It ... was occupational and described a fencing master ... Early examples of the surname include: William Lescermissur of Suffolk in 1180, and Symon Leskirmisur of Essex in 1221. The family of Scrymegour held the position of hereditary standard-bearers of Scotland for at least three centuries, and for his services in this office, Sir Alexander Schyrmeschur was granted lands in Forfar in 1298, and later became Constable of the Castle of Dundee. Sir James Scrymgeour, a favourite of James V1, succeeded to the hereditary offices of standard-bearer in 1576, whilst John Scrymgeour, was created Earl of Dundee in 1660. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richer le Schirmissur, which was dated 1154, in the charter known as the "Documents relating to the Danelaw", for Lincolnshire.

Anonymous said...

SO, this guy helped lots of non-Caucasians grow up to compete with his descendants? Does he have any?

Anonymous said...

Yet another example of white people helping colored people today. Almost never the reverse.

Anonymous said...

"SO, this guy helped lots of non-Caucasians grow up to compete with his descendants? Does he have any?"

Read the article, numbnut. A daughter and four sons. Eight grand kids and a great grandkid.

Anonymous said...

"Read the article, numbnut. A daughter and four sons. Eight grand kids and a great grandkid."


rhetorical question
Web definitions
a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered; "he liked to make his points with rhetorical...

rob said...

Scrimshaw probably did more to help Guatemalans than any Guatemalan ever has or ever will. They'll probably reproduce up to the limit of the now higher carrying capacity and end up just as dumb as stunted as they are now. Just like after the Green Revolution, the tropical peoples turn improvements in production to more people instead of higher per capita income.

Anonymous said...

Nice piece Steve, thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Nick - South Africa