An Open Letter to 600 Steves
An open letter to the 600 NCSE Steves,
My dearest, my darlings, you little stinkers! In all of my 25 plus years as a professional something or other, (and believe me, I've done a lot of stuff for money!) nothing makes me prouder than to have been involved in what became known internationally as Project Steve. Oh, poo to project lead on one of BellSouth's largest re-engineering software projects of the late 90s, GE Financial Services first venture into the World Wide Web and Bechtel Engineering's Web Initiative Plan what'cha'ma'call'it. Project Steve beat the pants off all of them.
From the moment that Matt Inlay first pondered the vastness of Steves (individually or collectively, only Matt himself knows), Glenn and I fell giggling onto the floor of the NCSE office munching Twinkies and causing the Darwinian-Only Terror herself, Dr. Eugenie Scott, to come from her lair and roar, “C'mon guys, what's so funny,” we knew we were on to something.
At first we thought it just too outrageous to even contemplate. After all, who were these so-called Steves? Botanists, geologists, paleontologists, biologists, tobacconists? Would they answer our call? Well, my boys, you did answer. With all the courage and conviction of someone who would send an email to a colleague stating, “Hey Steve, did you get one of these? Are the clowns at NCSE serious about this?” you charged to the front trenches defending quality science education.
As the momentum built, and Steves came climbing over the cubicle walls of their underfunded research labs, we were aghast at the response. We had only intended to gather one hundred names, but soon passed two hundred. More were coming in every day and we looked to one another in the NCSE office saying, “What are we going to do with all these Steves?” Dr. Scott was cautious. “If they want dinner at my house, I'm not cooking.” We fainted.
There was only one way out of this, one way to placate the media that had besieged our phone lines, the clamoring hordes wanting to know if it really was NCSE that unleashed this torrent of Steves on an assuming public. Yes, we had to make... a tee shirt. So the slogan “Over 200 scientists named Steve agree...” was born, after ripping off Kids in the Hall.
I quickly discovered an interesting personality quirk about scientists named Steve. They seem as interested in getting their name on NCSE tee shirts as on serious scientifically published papers. (Although when it comes to published scientific papers, NCSE's Steves kick the crap out of the DI Fellows, and that ain't gonna stop, boys and girls, is it?)
So now, as you pass the 600 mark, I just want to say thank you to all the NCSE Steves for your efforts on behalf of quality science education. It was with the utmost joy and pleasure I gave birth to you... in a metaphorical sense. In a physical sense that would not only be biologically impossible, but would hurt like hell, and you don't have to be a biologist to know that, d'ya?
So go, wait for the 600 Steves tee shirt, which I know NCSE will print if they know what's good for them...
... and go, go become fishers of Steves.
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