a must-read novel about scientists

Monday Begins on Saturday” is the name of the Russian (Soviet) Sci-fi novel written in 1964 by brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (the “fathers” of Russian Sci-fi). It is a very light, humorous and intelligent story portraying the life of truly inspired scientists, devoted to their research in such a way that their Mondays start (metaphorically) on Saturdays.

It is also a bit of a fantasy style, since the action takes place at the Scientific Research Institute of Sorcery and Magic (SRISM), where researchers are pursuing science with respect to magic objects, creatures from fairy tales and other elements of the supernatural.

“Monday…” could be somewhat more appealing to [bio]informaticians – although the story is not about computers, but the main hero is a geek, possessing rare (at the time) skill of operating one of the first punch-card computers.

A number of people, including myself, would say this novel is one of the most original and enchanting Sci-fi stories ever written. I would even vote to include it into official scientific education programs, at least for PhDs =). Of course human perceptions do differ, but if you happened to be a scientist – I bet you’ll love it!

Actually, the point is that the spirit of the people who are now advancing the concept of Open Science is very much alike the spirit of the SRISM scientists. Reflected in the title, one of the ideas behind this blog is to follow the advancement of the New (Open) Science…

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