A Mom, a Cook, A Scientist or A Scientist, A Mom, and Forget the Cooking
Publication Date: 2013-04-02
Who could guess an obituary writer could get in such hot water.
Writing for the New Yorker blog, Amy Davidson threw a fit over a New York Times obituary for Yvonne Brill. So many others objected too that the obituary was changed. Here are the first two paragraphs in the original version:
I read that and was touched that "The world's best mom" got the lead. A scientist who cooked for her family and was loved by them.
But all the complainers felt Yvonne Brill's accomplishments as a scientist should have received top billing. Here's the new version of the obituary:
So we've lost the stroganoff but at least "The world's best mom" is still there.
You can read the snippiness of the New Yorker blog yourself. The blogger insists cooking stroganoff is only one step up from Kraft macaroni. I felt the line spoke to family memories of home-cooked meals.
I cheered for the comment left at The New Yorker by someone signing himself "mathteacher":
Someone need to acknowledge how difficult it is for anybody to be a really good parent. And I've read a number of accounts of the fact that many eminent scientists make miserable parents. For starters, read about the way Albert Einstein treated his children. There's no way his obituary could have read "World's greatest dad."
I say that Yvonne Brill left a legacy greater than rocket science.
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