A year or two ago, the most famous science graduate of our age - Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - appeared on British television, explaining some of the chemistry behind everyday cooking. Most established scientists reacted adversely, claiming that the Iron Lady was just trying to curry political favor with ignorant housewives.

Not so long after Thatcher's exercise in culinary science, the professor of one of the largest, oldest, and most prestigious chemistry schools in Britain also appeared on television. He complained about his poor salary (which actually compares favorably with that drawn by the Prime Minister) and he made the usual promises of jam tomorrow if we supported fundamental research today. He did not clearly explain the nature and likely results of his research to the man or woman in the seat before the television. Established scientists reacted more favorably than they had to Thatcher's broadcast.

Contrast these tales to...

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