[extropy-chat] FWD [forteana] Bottle washers and button sorters (Heinlein on scientists)

Terry W. Colvin fortean1 at mindspring.com
Tue Oct 18 01:15:13 UTC 2005

The science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein once wrote, <<Nine-tenths 
of  "scientists" are bottle washers and button sorters>> ("The Notebooks 
of Lazarus Long," _Time Enough for Love_, 1973). It was, I seem to 
recall, Heinlein's retort to a remark made in the 1960's by British 
science historian Derek DeSolla Price, that "Nine tenths of all the 
scientists who have ever lived are living now."

Heinlein's comment has long rather intrigued me. What do you yourselves 
think of it? Do you agree or disagree--and why? Just what exactly do you 
think Heinlein meant by the remark? Any comments?

T. Peter

"Only a zit on the wart on the heinie of progress." Copyright 1992, Frank Rice

Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1 at mindspring.com >
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