Jellyfish Have Eyes (2014)

Jellyfish Have Eyes (2014) 2017-09-30T03:48:03+00:00

It’s the year 2047. Deep in the mangrove swamps of Puerto Rico,
Ricardo Sztein, an acclaimed government scientist, makes a breakthrough discovery: Jellyfish possess an astounding visual memory, even more sophisticated than humans. He believes his finding will benefit modern science. Rather than receiving acclaim, Ricardo’s findings are vilified when he is ensnared in a witch-hunt for the misuse of government research funds.

Will he be condemned by the political climate of the times, or will he prove the validity of his studies and the importance of creativity in basic science?

Published by International Pyschoanalytic Books (2014)

Praise for Jellyfish Have Eyes

NEI Scientist Emeritus’s Debut Novel Probes Jellyfish Eyes

By Kathryn DeMott
NIH Record

NEI scientist emeritus Dr. Joram Piatigorsky remembers the moment he became captivated by jellyfish eyes. He was reading a book about invertebrate vision and there it was—an image of a very familiar-looking eye looking back at him from the most ancient multi-organ animal. The eyes of jellyfish became a focus of his more than four-decade long career at NIH.

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Narrative NIH scientist enters literary world

By Ellyn Wexler, Special To The Gazette

Joram Piatigorsky is somewhat of an anomaly. The Bethesda resident identifies himself as half scientist, half artist.

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Science and Culture: Using fiction to make the case for basic research

By Joel Shurkin, Science Writer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

What possesses a respected, retired scientist to take on the agonizing task of writing a novel and fighting to get it published? Author Joram Piatigorsky, an emeritus scientist from the National Institute of Health’s National Eye Institute, says quite simply that he had something important to say.

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“Fascinating and delightful”

Praise for “Jellyfish Have Eyes” from Ann L. McLaughlin, author, Amy & George

“This highly original story of jellyfish is fascinating and delightful. We travel to a warm mangrove swamp near Puerto Rico with Dr. Ricardo Sztein, who discovers that these fish store evolutionary memories. Troubles abound when his studies are revealed, but the adventures of this quirky, endearing scientist are memorable.”

“Brilliant first novel”

Praise for “Jellyfish Have Eyes“…

“In the author’s brilliant first novel, we travel into a tropical lagoon with Dr. Ricardo Sztein, a maverick scientist who is mesmerized by jellyfish. This fast-paced adventure is partly about Dr. Sztein’s unusual and fascinating discoveries as he studies his beloved jellyfish. It also raises compelling questions about whether originality and creativity in research are valued or demonized by our government and academia.”

—Stanton Samenow, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, author, Inside the Criminal Mind

“Interesting on many levels!”

Praise for “Jellyfish Have Eyes“…

A wonderful book! The book’s main character is a scientist, an expert on diseases affecting eyes, who becomes fascinated by jellyfish. (They do have eyes…very complex eyes!) The book is interesting on many levels: the value of basic scientific research; the pressure to link research to medical advances in order to obtain funding, and the politics of funding scientific research. I loved the descriptions linking scientific discovery and creativity.

The author, Joran Piatigorsky, is an internationally respected, award-winning scientist whose specialty is the molecular biology of the eye. This is his first novel. I look forward […]

“Ricardo Sztein is an unforgettable character”

Praise for “Jellyfish Have Eyes” from Robert Bausch, author, A Hole in the Earth, and Far as the Eye Can See

“This novel draws you into its web of complex circumstances by degrees, unfolding like a kind of scientific experiment; it unravels the entire research and scientific community—challenges the tenets of evolution, knowledge, being and believing. The unity of knowledge, knowledge itself is turned upside down. Ricardo Sztein is an unforgettable character, and this story is definitely a winner.”

“Rich dystopian novel”

Praise for “Jellyfish Have Eyes” from Barbara Esstman, author, The Other Anna and Night Ride Home

“In this rich dystopian novel Ricardo Sztein risks all to follow his intellectual curiosity in defiance of the extreme utilitarianism of his society. The spiritual cousin of Dickens’ “Hard Times”, with a nod to Big Brother, “Jellyfish” projects our current pragmatism into a frightening but possible future. A wonderful book for those who love creativity, science and the great gifts of serendipity.”