Too Many Quests, Too Many Grails

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Really funny piece in Neatorama about the overuse of the holy grail metaphor in science writing. It’s gotten so bad that the term has been banned from the Chemical and Engineering News. Not everyone agrees with the anti-grail sentiment, however: “‘Holy grail’ means something to every chemist and to most others. It may mean something different to every chemist, but there are worse confusions. Better multiple grails than none,” says Harvard University’s George M. Whitesides.


Brian Spears's first collection of poetry, A Witness in Exile, is now available through Louisiana Literature Press, and at his personal website. He is Senior Poetry Editor at The Rumpus. More from this author →