The first comprehensive biography of Dr Pap, written by Dr Erskine Carmichael, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the University of Birmingham/ Alabama, was released in the US in 1973.
Its title was: “The Pap Smear”.
In the introduction, the American writer makes the following remarks:
“The portrait of George Papanicolaou reminds us of the opinion of Samuel Jonhson, about biographies: “significant biographies are not those that describe the route of a person to recognition, but those that outline the way he was raised to become a happy individual”.
As illustrated in this biography, Dr Pap ’s contentment was due to his rigorous self-discipline, his tireless work and his commitment to contribute to the good of Humanity.
Being the outcome of a significant coincidence, the invention of the Pap smear confirms on the best way Pasteur’s observation: “ good luck encourages a prepared mind”. Mostly Dr Pap believed that the succession of facts in nature is directed by a super power. It seems that this power has been the motive to succeed in his work, despite the initial disappointment.
We hope that this story of not satisfaction, frustration, but also final vindication will encourage anyone who chases academic ideals”.
Eventhough Dr Pap pointed out the value of research for the creation of knowledge, the significance of his invention was realised by the scientific world much later. At the same moment, Papanicolaou underlined the importance of research directed to a concrete and predetermined purpose.
Finally this book was written to arouse the public interest in the cancer of cervix, so that both men and women – that in other circumstances would suffer from cancer-, will now live healthy and happy.