lundi 26 décembre 2011

It suddenly comes to my mind

For many years, the facts were:

1. I remember that, in March 1988, when we created the scientific discipline of Molecular Gastronomy, I proposed this title, and Nicholas replied that we should add "and physical".

2. Since that time, I atributed Nicholas proposal to the fact that he was a physicist, and he feared that too much emphasis would be on chemistry

3. Few years ago, Harold Mc Gee showed evidence that Elizabeth Thomas, a friend of Nicholas and I, proposed also "Molecular Gastronomy" as a title for I don't know what exactly, and apparently Elizabeth and Ugo Valdre (that I don't know) had the idea to make meetings about that

4. It is a fact that Nicholas and I called Antonino Zichichi to propose him a series of Workshops and Erice

5. It is a fact that Nicholas and I were the directors of the workshops, and that we invited Harold Mc Gee to be an invited director to the first meeting (he did not participate to the organization of the others)

In view of all these facts, a sociologist recently wondered why Elizabeth Thomas was not involved in the organization of the International Workshops on Molecular and Physical Gastronomy. It would be logical if Molecular and Physical Gastronomy would be based on her ideas... but remember fact 1: when I proposed the title Molecular Gastronomy, it was because :
1. Gastronomy is a reasoned knowledge, not haute cuisine
2. Molecular was proposed (by me) to do the same as in Molecular Biology, as I explain well in a paper that I published in the Account of Chemical Research.
Moreover, contrary to Nicholas, I did not know Elizabeth Thomas, and this is why she was not a director of our meetings, but only invited, being a friend of Nicholas.

How to reconcile all facts, assuming that people like Harold McGee, Nicholas Kurti and I are honest ?
I had suddenly an assumption: what about Nicholas wanting to do something else than what Elizatbeth Thomas wanted ? Perhaps he knew the proposal of Molecular Gastronomy, and looked for another title, hence "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy".

Later on, I shortened "Molecular and Physical Gastronomy" (the title of my PhD) into "Molecular Gastronomy", because, ignoring all the story about Elizabeth Thomas, I felt is was enough (as I did since the beginning).

Now, historians and sociologists can improve their descriptions... and I ever more strongly regret Nicholas Kurti's death. He was wonderful... and human.

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