In the fall of 1860, the Linnean Society of London gathered for a dinner at which scientific papers were shared and discussed. One of the works discussed at length was On Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, first published only two years prior. The keynote speaker was Louis Pasture. Following is a transcript from the night’s proceedings.
Master of Ceremonies: Gentlemen of the Linnean Society of London, it is now our honor to welcome the esteemed French Biologist, Mr Louis Pasteur. Many of you know him as the microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. His work has not only proven the Law of Biogenesis, but has also contributed to our ability to halt the spread of disease, and the ability to preserve foods for much longer than previously possible, which will open doors for a boom in the grocery economy and safety for food consumers all over the civilized world. Gentlemen, please welcome, Mr. Louis Pasteur.
[a light smattering of polite applause]
Louis: Ok, look, I was going to read this paper on various methods of pasteurization, trademark mine by the way, but I just sat here listening to you old heifers prattle on and on about Charles Darwin’s new book, On the Origin of Species, blah blah blah. I have my copy here. I read it, and we need to have a littler family chat. Where is Darwin?
[Darwin raises his hand]
Hey, Chuck. You stink at writing. Anyone ever tell you that? Dull as dirt and I gotta say your emotional issues bleed through this like a stuck pig in a satin dress shirt. Even on the cover you already stink. First of all it takes six and a half minutes just to read the cover. Ain’t nobody got time for that. A book needs a title, Chuck, not an abstract for your paper. How about something catchy, like, Darwin’s Magical Mystery Tree? Or, Evolution, a User’s guide. Or more accurately, “Sorry to bother you, but if you squint just right, don’t I look like a monkey.” Continue reading