A photograph of a 3 cm drop of ferrofluid, a suspension of magnetite in oil.
Harvard University today unveiled a brand-new website, HarvardScience, devoted to all matters related to science at the various schools, departments, institutes, and hospitals of Harvard University.Now, although Harvard is not as scientifically astute or as storied as its geeky neighbor MIT, it has indeed been the scene of numerous momentous moments in the history of science.
In 1689, for example, Godswabber Hackenthorne, a Calvinist predicator and Isaac Newton Professor of Alchemy, scientifically established once and for all that witches’ specific gravity is not necessarily greater than that of water in all cases, as anecdotal evidence had suggested for years.
Later, in 1875, pioneering psychologist and philosopher William James discovered the mind-clarifying effects of Nitrous Oxide, and began a scientific tradition of “huffing” between classes that continues to this day.
In the 1960’s iconic neural scientist Dr. Timothy Leary blazed a trail by turning Harvard Yard into a revolutionary “acid test”, engendering a psychedelic movement which transformed the American consciousness. For a while, he was actually paying undergraduates $20 to drop acid, in the name of science.
Then, in 1976, the Dowbrigade himself participated in a seminal investigation into the effects of cocaine and mescaline applied simultaeously to the nasal membranes, one to the right side and the other to the left, affecting opposing brain hemispheres.
Somehow, we doubt that any of these achievements will appear on the HarvardScience web site. We were born too late, and now is no time to rehash the past. However, now there is a place for milestones like these which occur in the future. Ladies and Gentlemen, start your computers.