Dedicated researcher Isaac Asimov describes his discoveries regarding an interesting organic compound, thiotimoline, which has the ability to dissolve in water before the water is added.

Oh, but this is a terrific, very funny little parody. I wouldn’t just say that every Asimov fan should read it; everybody who has to do scientific research has to read it. Asimov here mimics beautifully the unbeautiful language of the usual scientific research paper and skewers it altogether too effectively—some readers didn’t get the joke, it would seem.

Asimov was working on his dissertation and had to deliberately “dumb down” his usual flowing writing style to make it sufficiently turgid. (The dissertation’s title alone, Kinetics of the reaction inactivation of tyrosinase during its catalysis of the aerobic oxidation of catechol, should give one a hint of that.) Finally, he had enough and dashed this off in frustration.

(Interested readers should pick up The Early Asimov or In Memory Yet Green for more information on the background, which is quite funny in and of itself. And the theme of the overly turgid nature of modern science writing would resurface as a minor plot point in "The Dead Past.”)

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...