From the [deep] Archives

This week we’ve got a great interview from March 1975 with a one Dr. Mark Adams, who was then the chairman of the History and Sociology of Science department. This piece was written over 30 years ago, but Mark Adams is actually still a professor here at Penn. We can’t say whether or not this interview is legitimate or not, but given Punch Bowl’s high standard of journalistic integrity, we’d guess that it is.


Graduate Opportunities in the History of Sociology and Science
An Interview With Mark Adams, Undergraduate Chairman of the History and Sociology of Science Department, University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Adams received both his B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, and is the author of Charles Darwin Versus the Mad Nazis from Hell, and the principle talent on his newest record, Mark Adams Sings T.D. Lysenko’s Greatest Hits. PB talked with Adams about career opportunities in the History and Sociology of Science.

PB: What made you decide to specialize in the History and Sociology of Science?

Adams: Mostly the money. That and the sex. Also, the desire to find God. The money is easily the most important thing, however. God’s an easy lay, but a little flat-chested.

PB: What’s the average starting salary in the History and Sociology of Science?

Adams: It depends on a lot of factors. The salary is very high, but most of that goes for expenses. There’s the agent’s fee to consider, there’s the production manager, the lighting engineer, the writers, the drummer, the hairdresser- all these people have to be paid, and it adds up. But mostly, I suppose, it depends on whether you bring your own lunch or not.

PB: Has there been any cutback in the hiring of History and Sociology of Science graduates because of the recession?

Adams: No, there hasn’t. The History and Sociology of Science major is the lifeblood of American heavy industry and the ramrod of the American economy. We even have to import foreign-trained History and Sociology of Science majors from places like the Philippines to make any sort of dent in the demand. Many of our majors go into business for themselves, and thousands of jobs go begging. In Russia, you know, school children are forced to go to History and Sociology of Science camps.

PB: A recent article in Rolling Stone quotes you as saying, “Everybody in the History and Sociology of Science is into ‘ludes or coke. They can’t get an issue of Isis out without being stoned off their ass.” Is there really a drug problem in the History and Sociology of Science?

Adams: I’m very bitter about that Stone article. That remark was taken completely out of context. The Stone. just has this long-standing animus with the History and Sociology of Science, and there’s nothing we can do about it. I mean, I don’t want to sound querulous, but they’re always inveighing against either us or Molecular Neuroendocrinology. Inveigh, Inveigh, Inveigh. I guess they’re just trying to sell papers.

PB: The History and Sociology of Science major is supposed to one of the toughest at Penn. Could you elaborate on the requirements?

Adams: It is true that we torture our applicants, and we do make our majors live in barracks, and require them to work on the History and Sociology of Science collective, and beat them to death if they don’t, but that’s no worse than, say, Biochemistry treats its students, and besides it’s all done in a very humane way. Also, all our majors must have at least one super-power that doesn’t depend on a mechanical device, such as the ability to make things super-light or super-heavy, and they can’t be black or Puerto Rican.

PB: How often should the average person see his or her Historian and Sociologist of Science? Once a year? Twice a year?

Adams: At least twice a year, and it’s always a good idea to have him swab your footnotes and palpitate your bibliography while you’re there.

PB: Bye, Dr. Adams!

Adams: Bye, PB!

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