… this meme asks that you come up with your own scientific eponym. What’s that exactly? Well, first read this excellent primer by Samuel Arbesman, which basically provides a step by step description of how to do this effectively. Then have a go at your own blog. If all goes well, I’d like to create a page at the Science Creative Quarterly, that collects (and links to) the good ones.
Janet, Chad, ScienceWoman and Steve have already taken up the challenge. Appropriately enough, I’ve just been reminded that my tendency to be ever-so-slightly sarcastic can be lost on some people, so it’s clear that the world is crying out for a way of quantifying the “sarchasm” – the perceptive gap that makes the person you’re talking to take even patently ridiculous statements seriously. Hence Rowan’s Sarchasmic Index:
A small or negative &DeltaS means that you are on the same wavelength, and witty repartee can ensue; a large &Delta&S means that there is a substantial risk that the person you are talking to will insist on thinking that you actually mean everything you say, with all the blank stares and possible drink-throwing that might imply.
The ironic susceptibility – a person’s ability to pick up on sarcasm – can be shown to rely on a number of factors:
Obviously, if someone knows you well they are more likely to understand where you’re coming from. Britain is the home of deadpan humour and irony, so time spent there will give you a better familiarity with the conventions of the genre. Most importantly, interactions with creationists, woo-meisters and denialists of all stripes, who are in the habit of making utterly ridiculous statements which they do actually mean, causes serious damage to irony meters, which then need to be recalibrated by a period of exposure to rational people.
Clearly, then, my social ineptitude is their fault.