The naked truth

Chemist and playwright Carl Djerassi throws back the curtain on the scientific establishment to reveal truths that aren?t always flattering

Laura Buchholz
Nov 9, 2006
In his new play, "Phallacy," world-renowned chemist Carl Djerassi dramatizes the age-old lovers' quarrel between art and science, using a bronze statue of a naked young man as the focal point of the furor. While the scientist and the art historian at the center of the story don't have much common ground, they do share at least one attribute: enormous egos. At a recent reading of the play at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Djerassi said that in writing the piece, he wanted to dramatize a fatal flaw often found in scholars of art and science: a tendency to believe that their own hypotheses are so beautiful that they simply cannot be wrong.Djerassi himself is no stranger to egocentricity. After all, you don't get your face on an Austrian stamp by being shy and insecure. Now 83, Djerassi is perhaps best known as the mother of the...

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