Flowers for Algernon tells the story of Charlie, a young man of very low IQ, who through experimental surgery is transformed into a genius. Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur are the scientists who conceive of and conduct the experiment first upon a mouse named Algernon and then on Charlie.
Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur do not see Charlie as a unique human being, but only as an experimental subject. As a result, they treat him in a condescending manner. Even after Charlie's intelligence increases dramatically, the scientists do not attempt to form a human relationship with him. Instead, they consider him merely a valuable example of their scientific prowess. This causes Charlie to rebel against Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur and run away rather than continue to work with them. Eventually Charlie's intellect surpasses theirs, and he is able to discover flaws in their hypothesis that suggest that his improvement is only temporary, and his IQ will eventually revert to the level that it was before the surgery.