Toward a New Drug

One shies away from foolish words like “geek”
and “nerd.” But think of the alternative,
a word for something Eisenhower warned
us of in 1961. “Elite.”
The waxing “technocrat,” authoritative.
Ike’s talking point, however badly formed,
was simply this: Society must keep
the modern scientist at some remove
from the complexities of truth, the thorn
and rose of our experience, and seek
to shine him on the nano-*explitive*
from which the pharmaceutical is born.
 
We need a drug. Not just another tweak,
another “me-too” statin or proactive
dosage aimed at helping us perform
in bed. Friends, the contemporary peak
in our regard for science is a shiv
we’ll fall upon one day. Or do we storm
the laboratory? Put the science freak
to work again? We’ll reinstate his native
state in service to mankind, reform
the so-called Age of Reason to its Greek
foundation, scorn the “nano” and relive
The Huge. Donnez-nous une drogue énorme!

Christmas Lecture,
Royal Society,
2010

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