‘I have this plan,’ Merlin [Sheldrake] says, ‘that …

‘I have this plan,’ Merlin [Sheldrake] says, ‘that for each formal scientific paper I ever publish I will also write its dark twin, its underground mirror-piece – the true story of how the data for that cool, tidy hypothesis-evidence-proof paper actually got acquired. I want to write about the happenstance and the shaved bumblebees and the pissing monkeys and the drunken conversations and the fuck-ups that actually bring science into being. This is the frothy, mad network that underlies and interconnects all scientific knowledge – but about which we so rarely say anything.’

From Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane