WEDNESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2022
Natalie the Scientist
Beyond bitten nails and lamppost-facing benches,
there was something free about Natalie. Her
eyebrows were thick and she never went to church
on Sundays. One morning, she decided to
become a Scientist. She wanted to know
about things in the world. She didn’t know, yet,
that everybody knows about things in the world.
But Scientists, she suspected, could tell her about
why she liked green fat plants and things like that.
Scientists did not have good answers when she came.
They were looking down at a cell and knew nothing
of their character. They said ‘Natalie,
Come look with us’ and she knew they were looking
at different pictures of the same Henrietta –
still pieces of a black woman, packed full of ink.
Just as the earth sprang out
of the centre of the solar system
under Galileo’s telescope;
as soon as Pasteur thought it,
it was true: germs caused
disease. The poisonous miasma
morphed into bacterium, protists,
fungi and more, plaguing any
informed soul in sight. A similar
velocity, which, having been
found relative, worsened
accidents all around the
globe – nature had been
fashions from the start;
every discovery had been true –
for good and bad alike
the fabric of
the universe had always been belief.
Laia Serratosa Capdevila is a writer, research associate, and founder of a one-person neuron tracing company. Artwork by Aina Serratosa Cadevilla.