May 23rd, 2010

savanna life

Homo ludens, Scientist Naturalis

"I have never been a '100 percent scientist.' My reading has always been shamefully nonprofessional. I do not own an attaché case, and therefore cannot carry it home at night, full of journals and papers to read. I like long vacations, and a catalogue of my activities in general would be a scandal in the ears of the apostles of cost-effectiveness. I do not play the recorder, nor do I like to attend NATO workshops on a Greek island or a Sicilian mountain top; this shows that I am not even a molecular biologist. In fact, the list of what I have not got makes up the American Dream. Readers, if any, will conclude rightly that the Gradus ad Parnassum will have to be learned at somebody else's feet."
Erwin Chargaff
Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life before Nature (1978)