Guest Blogger: Prof. Steve Steve
Last evening started pleasantly enough. I met Wilkins, John Lynch, Ben Cohen and David Ng, and Janet Stemwedel (from whose blog I am writing to you now) for refreshments. Yes, there was a bit of confusion when it turned out that the hotel didn’t have an ice machine on every floor. As well, there was the puzzle of how properly to utilize the fresh limes for beverages in the absence of a knife. (The solution: quick and forceful jabs with a house-key. There was no suitably clever solution to the puzzle of how to extract a cork without a corkscrew, however, so the wine remained in its bottle.) Still, there was lively conversation and good cheer.
After the ScienceBloggers confab, we joined the larger conference reception, where I greeted an important philosopher of science:
Professor Kim Sterelny is noted for his work in the philosophy of biology, his appreciation of red wine, and his fabulous beard. It was a pleasure to have spent time with him at the reception.
And then, inexplicably, the evening went wrong for me. Wilkins and Lynch vanished into the crowd, and suddenly I was in a cab on my way to a dinner hosted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation. I was surrounded by historians, philosophers, and other scholars focused on the study of chemistry. Not that I have anything against chemistry — nor, as I quickly ascertained, did the assembled scholars have any worries about the soundness or fecundity of evolutionary theory. It’s just that they’re not accustomed to dining with a panda, even a learned one.
The dessert was nice, though.