Vonnegut on science communication

Three people in a bar, talking about science:

“He said science was going to discover the basic secret of life some day,” the bartender put in. He scratched his head and frowned. “Didn’t I read in the paper the other day where they’d finally found out what it was?”

“I missed that,” I murmured.

“I saw that,” said Sandra. “About two days ago.”

“That’s right,” said the bartender.

“What is the secret of life?” I asked.

“I forget,” said Sandra.

“Protein,” the bartender declared. “They found out something about protein.”

“Yeah,” said Sandra, “that’s it.”

– from Cat’s Cradle (p. 25 in the 1970 Dell paperback.)

Author: Mike White

Genomes, Books, and Science Fiction

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