AR Ratsimamanga: a renaissance man

For Malagasy, AR Ratsimamanga is the benchmark for success and a life well lived. He was chosen as the malagasy man of the century which tells you that my high opinion of him is not tainted by my scientific biais. For my fellow scientists here in Lafayette, that's 122 publications on topics ranging from the function of the adrenal gland to natural remedies for diabetes. Obviously his scientific career is just 1/2 of the story. Here in French is a description of his contribution to the independent movement of Madagascar:
"Accompagnant la délégation malgache pour l'Exposition Coloniale de 1930 [..] Intégré dès son arrivée dans le milieu des étudiants patriotes, il se fait des amis comme Prosper Rajaobelina, Hermann Ravelomanana, Maurice Rajaofera et bien d'autres dont le principal souci était de construire les bases théoriques de l'indépendance de Madagascar. Avec eux, Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga fonde l'Association des Etudiants d'Origine Malgache (AEOM) où se formeront la majorité des militants pour le renouveau de Madagascar en France et qui seront toujours, être un creuset des échanges de nouvelles, d'idées, d'actions d'une diaspora dynamique."
However, his most outstanding contribution resides in his ability to reconcile excellent scientific work with the necessities and limitations of his homeland.
"Les produits ne doivent pas seulement aider mais doivent aussi être à la portée de toute la population. A cet effet, Ratsimamanga a renoncé à toutes formes d'emballages colorés. Un produit contre le rhume est mis directement dans des flacons recyclés d'injection. On pratique cette sorte de recyclage en raison de l'absence d'industrie de verre à Madagascar et qui, importés coûteraient très chers. Ratsimamanga préfère travailler avec beaucoup de personnes et créer ainsi une main d'ouvre nombreuse plutôt que d'utiliser des machines coûteuses. C'est pourquoi, il refuse la haute technologie des japonais qui voudraient bien travailler avec lui". Summary in English: "products need to cure but also be affordable. No fancy wrap on the bottle. More workers, less expensive machines."
Finally a quote from him that I may just put in bold in my office:
"Nous devons avancer à rythme" dit-il pour finir, "nous devons avant tout avoir confiance en nous-mêmes et dans les vertus thérapeutiques de la nature. Car la nature et l'homme ne font qu'un". (We need to proceed at our own pace, we need to trust ourselves and the virtues of nature. Nature and man are all one on earth.)
complete article here.


  1. salut Jogany,

    4eme a repondre sur ton post :). C'etait meme assez long :) mais je peux le redire ici si tu veux:
    comment sur ton post:
    OK, Je me lance :) :
    -garder le contact d’une maniere originale avec familles et amis. Ma soeur l’illustre mieux que moi sans doute:
    -c’est moins cher qu’un psy et plus amusant.
    -on peut rire aux eclats au boulot et personne ne sait pourquoi.
    - on est tous un peu narcissique ( nothing wrong with that, right ?:) et le blog est plus sain qu’une video de soi :)
    - comment pourrais je discuter de Brangelina un jour puis de Ratsimamanga le lendemain sans le blog ?
    -Enfin, selon Le Herald Tribune sur les “French bloggers”:
    We had 16 presidential candidates at the last election, and we will probably have the same number next year,” Griveaux said. “Every French person wants to run the country - a blog is the next best option.”
    so when we want to change the world (right, Jogany ?), a blog is a good start. ( Frankly, the world could use a few changes..)
    desole c’etait bien long… :)
    Voila :)

  2. sweet! didn't know about him. Yay a famous Malagasy other than you, Lova :)

  3. >jogany, I think Mrs Rabesahala would have to be the frontrunner for woman of the century and my mom is fuming mad because there is no such awards :) ( as far as I know).
    > mosilager: "famous for not being able to master the malagasy language" that is ;). WRT to Ratsimamanga, his wife who is from Switzerland just published a study from their lab in Tana on traditional remedy against malaria, it's in press right now. ( I wish I could say the same about my study :) ).

  4. > Jogany, Castro-ian ? :) I sense you have a little "faible" for lost cause and rebels, am I right ? ;) Well Mr Castro seemed to have recovered well from his surgery. What I don't quite understand is the celebration from the Cubans in Miami when he got sick. A little premature obviously and little pointless I'd say.
    I will take the bet on "amazing" :), survive I will. Amaze ? I am afraid that ship has sailed, lol !

  5. > jogany: How is this for ambition: limiting the intake of caffeine to 2 cups a day w/o being sluggish or cranky :).