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“The Rats Say Yes” to inventor Robert R. Williams

"The Rats Say Yes" was made for the 2010 National History Day, an annual nationwide competition in which students present projects relating to a theme. The theme this year was Innovation in History. Each year more than half a million students participate by conducting research in libraries, archives and museums, conducting oral history interviews, and visiting historic sites, and then presenting their findings as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site. This year, Haley Davis (12th grade), Madelyn Stark (9th grade) and Joseph Fischer (10th grade) from the Christian Learning Center in Fort Scott, Kansas, produced “The Rats Say Yes” which looks at the innovative work of Robert R. Williams, who (with co-inventor Robert Waterman) discovered and synthesized Vitamin B1 and used the proceeds from his discovery to combat dietary disease worldwide. The students competed on district, state and national levels and placed ninth nationwide. The course of their research brought them to the Research Corporation for Science Advancement archives which contain a separate archive of Williams’ papers. Williams donated his patent for Vitamin B1 to RCSA and established the Williams-Waterman Fund for the Combat of Dietary Diseases which was administered by the Foundation. From 1940 to 1974, the Fund made 588 grants, totaling over $10.5 million, in support of this Fund. For additional information about the work of the Williams-Waterman Fund, see Research Corporation's Williams-Waterman Fund

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