Comments

  1. Joseph says

    This wonderful young man has a terrific career and future ahead of him. Shame on anyone who may criticize his openly affectionate and exuberant nature, and thank goodness we live in a time where it is easier for a 15 yr old to be openly and unapologetically himself.

  2. Jerry says

    MORE stories about gay role models like this! Actually gay or straight, he is an incredible role model.

  3. SAYTHETRUTH says

    Cool story, encouraging, etcetera. That said you have to be always cautious with the hype, many times –and I mean, many, many, many times- promising things never leave that stage, this story sold well because of the guy’s age and factors (as the old fantasy of the basement’s genius that saves the world) but science has slow pace of confirming things, magic spells are for Harry Potter.
    About the 60 minutes show, I’m sure the reporter must have an impressive background, but they should consider having someone younger than 100 y.o. to perform, the guy seemed barely there, he himself should realize that, T.V. demands another excellence.

  4. Michael says

    I saw this interview last night on 60 Minutes and figured the kid was gay. I was wondering, well expecting, 60 Minutes to avoid that issue but at one point they said to him, about a teacher who was fuming at him, “as if you had a Playboy”.

    It’s like, no, 60 Minutes, not every boy reads Playboy.

  5. Albert says

    Brilliant young man! And kudos to his lab mentor at Johns Hopkins for giving Jack a chance to show what he could do.

  6. Alan says

    Nice that his family keeps him so grounded. His parent and brother also have impressive credentials (according to Wikipedia).

    @SAYTHETRUTH – don’t be such an ageist.

  7. Mr. Smith says

    Hey he says he only really has one gay scientist hero that he knows about (one being Turning). We all just might have two.

  8. TowsonMdGuy says

    DRH- Yes, I roll my eyes every time I pass that Koch building on Orleans Street.

    It is so heartwarming to see Jack’s passion and that he has the potential to save thousands of lives. I think we will be hearing more from him.

  9. Kieran says

    A 13 minute segment on an openly gay prodigy on 60 minutes. Is it asking too much that they mention his being proudly gay? Gay youths need all the positive role models they can get and homophobes need to know that it might be a gay kid who discovers the cure for cancer.

  10. steve says

    badass – there are a lot of nerdy & brilliant gay men out there – nice to see him representing that

  11. AriesMatt says

    So adorable and his energy and enthusiasm is incredibly infectious. Have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more from this kid in our lifetime.

    I remember reading about the brother making nitroglycerin but never made the connection that those two were brothers.

    Amazing what a supportive and creative environment can do for progress. Schools and the education system of our country should really take note.

  12. says

    We know Jack is gay, how exactly? Not from watching 60 Minutes!

    That “Playboy” line was offensive! Not every teenage boy is interested in Playboy! (Is Playgirl still published?)

  13. Tony C says

    I saw this segment & all I could think about was thank god that there exists young people with passion.. He’s going a long way because of his true passion /you could see it in His eyes every time he spoke..I love that spark in people that makes them light up!,

  14. gr8guyca says

    @ Kieran: I completely disagree. His being gay is completely irrelevant to his accomplishments. In fact, it would have been wrong to include it. His sexual preference or any aspect of his personal life is not really relevant. His parents and brother fill out the story about how his scientific life evolved. Anything else is off topic. I was pleased to see that it WASN’T included.

  15. johnny says

    Figured he was gay just by watching the 60 minutes thing.

    You never know, perhaps he himself didn’t want that aspect of his life to be reported as it may have overshadowed his accomplishment. I don’t always lead with “Hi, I’m gay and this is what I do for a living.”

    For some of us out here in the real world, gay is down on the list somewhere, not always first.

  16. says

    I think 60 Minutes was wrong not to include Jack’s sexuality because he has been quite open about his desire to be a role model for other LGBT youth interested in science. When he was contacted by a (gay) reporter who wanted to confirm that he was, in fact, gay and write a story that included that fact this is how Jack Andraka responded:

    “That sounds awesome! I’m openly gay and one of my biggest hopes is that I can help inspire other LGBT youth to get involved in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.] I didn’t have many [gay] role models [in science] besides Alan Turing.”

    Here is the article: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/standing-on-the-right-side-of-history-16-year-old-jack-andraka-is-the-edison-of-our-times#.UlyY2lOz66s

  17. Quicksilver says

    Who woulda thunk a nerdy Chris Crocker would be just as annoying. Go figure. Tone it down, lil sister.

  18. Rowan says

    Now, now Quicksilver. You had your coffee yet?

    Different strokes n all….chill, he prolly reads this site.

  19. Mitch says

    Great post! 60 Minutes is not homophobic. Anderson Cooper has a history of a very strong presence on that news hour.

    Queens needs to Summer Donna. Or Simmer Down.

  20. Matteo says

    Cancer research or possible early detection devices are key not his sexuality.
    Great to see a mind put to such wonderful use and wish him the very best.

  21. JoseRVG says

    Ah, Gay, brilliant, good looking kid getting tons of media attention. My friend, don’t get distracted! Science requires all your focus and you’re making a difference in the world. We’re so proud of you!!!

  22. Mike Ryan says

    Yeah, I never once heard the fact that he is openly gay or gay anything during the interview. I had to look the kid up on Wikipedia and sure enough, right there for everyone to see he is openly gay and very proud to be gay. Why didn’t 60 Minutes casually toss that in? (BTW, the older brother Luke is HOT!)

  23. jamal49 says

    What a wonderful thing this is! Not just that this incredible young man is out and proud (God love him and his supportive family!) but that he’s possibly locked in to perhaps early detection of certain cancers. Usually, by the time pancreatic cancer is detected, it is too late. Good luck, Jack. Godspeed.

  24. Rick says

    What a shame to see a hyper-intelligent, potentially attractive young man ruin his attractiveness by taking on the mannerisms and behavior of a girl……

    It’s like looking at Robert Redford now that he has wrinkles and gray hair……

    Sad.

  25. says

    @Rick, since it’s unlikely that he (or any 16-year-old) cares what men in late middle-age think of his attractiveness, I wouldn’t upset yourself too much over his “mannerisms.” If he cared at all, it would be because it’s strange and creepy that you’re comparing him to an old movie star.

    He’s a brilliant young man with brilliant potential and a great role model for other gay youths and people in general. And, well said, @Caliban.

  26. Leroy Laflamme says

    Watch, after the jump. No, not you, Canada! (The uploader has not made this video available in your country). Ugh. Isn’t it about time Towleroad acknowledges & that it has visitors from all around the world?

  27. Seattle Mike says

    Hubby and I watched this and just loved his absolutely unfettered screaming enjoyment of winning that award. What a great kid. And what great parents to have raised someone who seems so sure of himself, despite the inevitable hateful (and envious?) comments of a bitter few.

  28. Seattle Mike says

    Also, I really wish Anderson Cooper had been given this piece. What an additional dimension that would have had.

  29. Jim says

    I get really tired of hearing “being gay is totally irrelevant to doing/being x.” Being gay is a fundamental part of a person’s identity. It shapes character, outlook, approach to life, tastes, and interests to name a few. It isn’t everything but it sure is important. Have you ever heard a straight person say that being heterosexual is totally irrelevant this his/her life or choices in life? Of course not because it’s plain nonsense. As if “how do I love thee let me count the ways” had nothing to do with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s passionate love for her husband Robert. So why do gay people keep saying this?

  30. Randy says

    60 Minutes is very special US secret. Nobody can know.

    But here is another video on Jack:

    (actually there are plenty on YouTube. Just none from 60 Minutes)

  31. johnny says

    Well, Jim, it would be tantamount to all straight people saying “I’m a STRAIGHT movie star” or “I’m a STRAIGHT artist who is blah blah blah… ” or “I’m a STRAIGHT doctor” or whatever.

    See how ridiculous that sounds? They don’t say it because it’s not their main identifier.

    Sorry, but I’m not going to go around starting my biography with the word gay. It is ALWAYS in my bio, but it’s not the first word I use because it’s not the biggest part of me. I’m a man first. I’m a writer and artist second. I’m a humanitarian and compassionate philanthropist third and fourth. And yes, I happen to be gay and that’s about where it fits in for me.

    Don’t paint all gays with the same brush, we all have different priorities. When gay people get past the age of 50, some might start to see that the gay part of ourselves is not nearly as important as the other parts. It’s sexuality and it is important, just not as important and it doesn’t rule a lot of us out here.

  32. john patrick says

    My oldest brother died of aggressive pancreatic cancer earlier this year. They were not able to diagnose the disease till it was too late. I hope the clinical trials are soon able to confirm the efficacy of this test, so that other people will be able to be treated while there is still time.

  33. says

    @Johnny, straight people are assumed to be straight so there’s nothing to declare but profiles of straight people very often include references to,their heterosexuality, it just goes unnoticed.

    In this case, Jack has made it a point to be openly gay and to talk about the importance of being yourself–he’s also talked about the dearth of gay role models in the sciences. So it would have been appropriate and meaningful for 60 Minutes to give a nod to his own interest in being a gay role model for his peers.

  34. justin says

    With all due respect… When the interviewer made the asinine “playboy” comment his sexually became relevant. If that comment wasn’t made I would agree.

  35. jonvincent says

    We need more role models like this kid instead of shirtless models, actors etc. I wish the gay community would encourage intelligence over vanity and shallowness.

  36. SFMD says

    I’m glad a kid like this, who is making a difference in the world, is getting some attention vs. people like Mark and Ethan who have nothing to add to this world lol

  37. Bobubye says

    Wasn’t the only gay person profiled on that segment, but not my story to tell; another gay hero, a military man too. Just saying.

  38. Keith says

    If he were straight you can bet that the part about “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” would have included some mention of his girlfriend (if he had one) or the pursuit of girls (if he did not). It may have been a one liner like “Jack still has time for his friends and his girlfriend….” but it would have been there.

  39. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    Sami, calling somebody “grrl” isn’t disrespectful unless you’re a misogynist. It’s not mean, unkind, or degrading except to people who think women are less than men, feminine is inferior to masculine or boys who have a more fem side are somehow less than.

    That’s old, old stuff and you and Rick need to get rid of it.