Dr Marcelino Cereijido and his Forgeries

Rarely have I heard of a talented scientist who is only a talented scientist. At a celebration of the 35 years of Avance y Perspectiva, a disseminating magazine published by the CINVESTAV, I came to learn about this book and its history:

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The book was sold out immediately after publication, and my prediction would be that the act would be repeated should a second edition come along.

What happens when your wife changes your traditional, orange-camel, weathered suitcase (and this, after you have packed it!) for a new, comfy one? What if you don’t know whether you boarded the right bus while at a conference abroad? (and how do you show off while at the conference?) How to bring back into the country your valuable experimental samples?

Pirincho (as the author is known locally) slowly builds up the setting for a sudden burst of humour, that falls like a powerful waterfall, which surprises and refreshes the reader. After the experience, one remains for a while trying to understand what just happened to them. Thus, once one story is read, all of the ‘patrañas’ must be read.

I translated before one of Pirincho’s texts on metrics (the disease of puntitis or of scientific illiteracy to use his term). In this post, the Spanish (Argentinian?) word of interest would be patrañas. Difficult to translate, so I offer instead Pirincho’s opening comments in the introduction of the book, where he explains:

In this book I have compiled articles that despite having their origins in real events, have ended up in distortion, lies and scandal. As much as I dislike it, I am obliged to admit that, while my laborious articles in my field of work (cellular and molecular physiology) with which I adhere to the relentless ‘publish or perish’ that rules my profession are read by a meager number of specialists, the articles herein grouped have managed to sell out magazine volumes and have been then circulated as photocopies. Never has a colleague stopped me in the corridor of my Institute to comment on their reading of some article of mine published in the American Journal of Physiology, the Journal of Membrane Biology or one of my books on the scientific illiteracy that sinks our countries. On the contrary, the articles I have grouped in this book have been worthy of dividing my readers into those who were openly against me, and the rest, who held an angry reproach towards my mom… 

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