Last night's 60 Minutes featured an extensive interview with Nora Volkow, director of the National institute for Drug Abuse and Leon Trotsky's great granddaughter. The bulk of the segment is about how addiction is awful and how sad it was when Trotsky was murdered by Stalin's hit men. Toward the end of the segment, however, 60 Minutes got Volkow to talk about her end game:
Narrator: Doctors did what they could, but Trotsky died a day later. He's buried in the family garden. Esteban Volkow went on to become a chemist who helped develop the birth control pill. Nora Volkow was born 15 years after Trotsky's death. Addicted, since childhood, to the pursuit of science.
Natalia Volkow: I think yes, we all have this sense of public service, social consciousness, responsibility towards not only yourself as individual, but for your society.
Narrator: The road from the house of ghosts in Mexico has taken Nora Volkow to a place of influence in Washington. She starts each day with a seven-mile run, getting a healthy dose of dopamine. And looking forward down the road, she sees a day when science might banish the curse of addiction.
Nora Volkow: A cure would be fantastic. And that means you get a medication like an antibiotic. I cure you.
Narrator: Volkow's labs and others around the country are working to develop vaccines to block drugs from entering the brain. The complexities are enormous, and progress is slow.
Nora Volkow: We're not there yet. But perhaps one day we may be. And in my brain, if you don't dare to think very ambitious things, you'll never be there.