Punch,  43 (1862), 49.

Scientific Meetings of the Week



Proceedings, Spoof


Societies, Scientific Practitioners, Charlatanry, Astronomy, Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Geology, Mineralogy, Physical Geography, Mapping, Statistics, Religion

    Consists of spoof reports of the proceedings of astronomical, zoological, geological, geographical, statistical, and theological societies. The proceedings of each society typically reveal that members' names are based on their area of expertise, and that their pursuits are either fantastically chimerical or completely banal. At the 'Astronomical' society, for example, Herr von Orbitz read a paper proposing a scheme for helping ships sail in 'Great Circles' by connecting them to comets' tails; at the 'Geological' society, there was a paper on 'Use of Basalt for pickling purposes' and a much-debated exhibition of 'thunderbolts found on Mount Olympus'; while at the 'Statistical' society, Mr Dumdiddy described his work on the 'number of persons who were asleep in London at half-past 11 p.m.'. The participants in these societies are also represented as charlatans: Mr Descartes of the 'Geographical' society, for example, produced a map of the interior of Madagascar, a country that it was later revealed he had never visited.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]