Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Dirk Flinthart's madly scientific whimsies

By Dirk Flinthart - posted Wednesday, 15 May 2002


God, I miss the old days.

Back then, you didn't have to have a multinational megacorp behind you to be a Mad Scientist. All you needed was a few basics: really zany hair, a deformed servant, and a serious grudge against the human race. Then it was off to your secret lair to dream up your fiendish scheme, and soon you'd be cackling maniacally in the teeth of the thunderstorm, shouting: "The fools! I'll show them all!"

Being a Mad Scientist had genuine prestige back then. It was an honourable occupation, much aspired to by bullied schoolboys and disgruntled migrants with a good technical grounding. These days, you can't even call a mad scientist mad: they're just "ethically questionable" now.

Advertisement

The other really good thing about the whole Mad Scientist system was the right of public redress. These days, the whole process is shrouded in layers of corporate spin-doctoring, shielded by banks of high-powered lawyers, and armed with all the legislative support that lapdog government ministers looking for the big consultancy in their political retirement can offer.

I reckon there's a lot of good in the old ways. I mean, this whole stem-cell thing, this great big GM controversy, it's really not much more than a bunch of mad scientists hammering away at the same old stuff, is it? At least this time there may be some potential benefits. Spinal injuries repaired by stem cell transplants. Diabetes cures. Pest-resistant food crops. Plants that can recover salt-poisoned soils. Sure, there's some questionable ethical stuff happening, but when you think about it, the old-style Mad Scientist never did much more than build weird monsters that lurched about the place frightening the livestock. The new breed has much better hair, too.

So I say: let today's Mad Scientists keep doing their corporate-sponsored thing, but with one proviso. Let's bring back the old rules. No more lawyers, courts and interminable ethics committees.

Meanwhile, you may care to amuse yourself with the following droll websites:

The nitty-gritty of that ethical debate: http://www.qfever.com/20010801/stemcell.html

A very odd site... this man, however, appears to have been proud to be a Mad Scientist http://www.selman-troytt.com/

Advertisement

It's just faintly feasible that these things could in some way have a connection with Genetic Modification... http://www.geocities.com/MadisonAvenue/1800/AnatomyA.html

This is the sort of chap we need to bring back the real spirit of scientific investigation... http://www.evilscience.net/

Irony... makes you wonder how many people are gonna plaster their thumbs up against the monitor screen! http://www.genochoice.com/

Apparently, this piece of work was carried out by scientists deemed sane. In this case, it's quite a useful illustration of the primitive means of genetic engineering utilized to this point in history. Work currently being carried out by Monsanto and Roche Pharmaceutics is expected to render this kind of genetic engineering completely obsolete... http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/319/7225/1596

Gentlemen: and you thought it was just your personality... http://www.thirdage.com/news/archive/ALT03020315-03.html

Aaargh! Glow-in-the-dark Rhesus Monkeys with jellyfish DNA – Quick! Get the torches and the hedge trimmers. Those dang Mad Scientists have gone too far this time! http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/monkey010111.html.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Dirk Flinthart is a writer and student who lives in Tasmania.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Dirk Flinthart
Photo of Dirk Flinthart
Article Tools
Comment Comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Deals from Sponsor
Flipit.com Australia
15% off with this coupon code on HP Notebooks and PCs $2000 and above
Sign up now and use this promo code to receive your second year free at Smile.com.au
Woolworths coupon code: Get $10 off when you spend $100 or more
Travel Factory promo code: Get 10% off storewide
ValueBasket discount code: Get $8 off any order of $330 or more
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy