(p. 113) Marshall was a youthful maverick, not bound by traditional theory and not professionally invested in a widely held set of beliefs. There is such a thing as being too much of an insider. Marshall viewed the problem with fresh eyes and was not constrained by the requirement to obtain approval or funding for his pursuits. It is also noteworthy that his work was accomplished not at a high-powered academic ivory tower with teams of investigators but instead far from the prestigious research centers in the Western Hemisphere.
The delay in acceptance of Marshall’s revolutionary hypothesis reflects the tenacity with which long-held concepts are maintained. Vested interests–intellectual, financial, commercial, status–keep these entrenched. Dogmatic believers find themselves under siege by a new set of explanations.
Meyers, Morton A. Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2007.