Monday, March 13, 2006

A Researcher's Prayer

Grant, oh God, thy benedictions
On my theory’s predictions
Lest the facts, when verified,
Show thy servant to have lied.

May they make me BSc,
A PhD and then
A DSc and FRS,
A Times Obit. Amen.

Oh, Lord, I pray, forgive me please,
My unsuccessful syntheses,
Thou know’st, of course – in thy position –
I’m up against such competition.

Let not the hardened editor,
With referee to quote,
Cut all my explanation out
And print it as a note.

-Proceedings of the Chemical Society, January 1963, pp 8-10
(Quoted in A Random Walk in Science, an anthology published by the Institute of Physics in 1973)
* comic strip from Piled Higher and Deeper, 28 January 2005

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