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Johns Hopkins evolutionary theorist Steven Stanley will be among four people to receive awards for overcoming their learning disabilities and forging successful careers despite educational obstacles.
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Background on Steven
Nine years ago he learned that he has attention deficit disorder, a condition that makes it difficult to study and memorize. Although he has always excelled in analytical thinking, the affliction forced him to study twice as hard as other students in high school and college, and he was often teased about being absent minded.
"I worked five and a half hours a day just to try to memorize stuff," he says. "I would get C's in history automatically because I couldn't memorize dates. I'd get C's in algebra sometimes, or in arithmetic when I was younger because I was careless."
Later, as a student attending Princeton University, he found that the only way he could study effectively was to shut himself in his dorm room.
"I didn't know why, but I just knew that was the only way I could get anywhere," says Stanley, who later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Yale University and rise to the top of his field.
Stanley, a professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His latest book, Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve (April 1996), offers a new theory about what caused global climate change, ultimately producing environmental conditions favorable for humans to evolve.
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