Tag: Satirical scholarship

Daughters of the Copernican Revolution

In honor of Copernicus’s 545th birthday, I thought I would read T. Koon’s best seller, The Copernican Revolutionary.

Imagine my surprise when I found folded inside the back cover the following certificate:

A certificate for The International Society of the Daughters of the Copernican Revolution

This certifies that Miss Etta Clara Hoyt is a regularly approved member of the International Society of the Daughters of the Copernican Revolution in connection with the Wahwilaway Chapter having been admitted by the International Board of Management by virtue of her descent from a proto-scientist who with unfailing loyalty rendered material aid to the cause of the Heliocentric System during the Revolutionary Struggle between the benighted geocentrists (that uneasy alliance between Ptolemaics and Tychonics) and the visionary heliocentrists (our beloved Copernicans).

I hadn’t heard of this society before and despite my best efforts (that is, doing a handful of internet searches), I found nothing about it. It seems to have been formed in the late 1800s, perhaps in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Copernicus’s De revolutionibus. Judging from the text, the society was modeled after the Daughters of the American Revolution, but for reasons I can’t fathom. If you know anything about this organization, let me know.

The Copernican Revolutionary

Thomas Kuhn, writing under a pretty lame nom de plume, tried his hand at historical pulp fiction. The story of a Revolutionary War-era woman who refused to live by society’s patriarchal norms.

Another book I wish had been written, though I doubt Thomas Kuhn could have written it.

Ok, there’s no way Thomas Kuhn could have written such a book. But it’s fun to pretend.

Galileo’s Courtesan

In a conversation recently, a student commented something like, “At first I couldn’t recall the title of Biagioli’s book. All I could think of was Galileo Courtesan.”[1] His remark prompted me to wonder what would scholarship look like if written as mid–20th-century pulp fiction. Maybe something like this:

Galileo’s Courtesan is a book I wish had been written.

I would give anything to stumble across a book like this in some used bookstore. Does anybody know of trashy pulp fiction that centers on a significant person from the history of science? Anyone?


  1. While not an exact quotation, it’s close enough. I should add, this was (and still is) a smart student.  ↩