Learning From a Rat

If I had read that a scientist had been given a grant to study the habitats of mole rats, or their reproductive habits, or their longevity, I would have wondered at the wisdom of such a grant. I would have been very likely to criticize the grant giver for having too a narrow vision or for holding on to a faulty definition of good science or who knows what else. And now I read that the longevity of the mole rat and the fact that unlike other rodents it does not get cancer, could be of use to fighting the disease or better understand health and aging. I have to concede to prejudices I wouldn’t have admitted to. Without the many scientists who studied the habits of mole rats we wouldn’t even be in a position to hope they may teach us something wonderful about cancer.
As I recall there’s an Aesop’s fable about learning from someone smaller than oneself.