In defence of the meticulous research Ian Penman did in his excellent piece about my work (The Wire 190/191), I would like first of all to comfort Justin Smith of Columbia University with the knowledge that there have existed - for at least 21 years - two Scripps institutions (Letters, The Wire 193). The first, where I worked in 1969, was and is called the Scripps Research Institute (on 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, if you'd like to visit.) The second is the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which does indeed focus much of its research, as the title would imply, on that which dwells below the water. As Mr Penman correctly pointed out, I worked as a research assistant (in the Department of Haematology and Immunology, under Dr Urusua Eberhard) at the former institute. If you ask the former institute about the latter they will tell you they have no affiliation whatsoever.
I did a stint as an assistant in the Neurochemistry Department of the UCSD Medical School a year later, while I was a biochem undergrad, but I must confess that this is when I finally decided that it was time to inject myself rather than the rats. Consider this the time of John Lily, BF Skinner (whom we all studied a little to extensively), Janov's Primal Scream therapy, and our teenage revelations about the psychotropic research that was conducted during the previous decade on Canadian and US mental patients, US prisoners, San Francisco prostitutes, Third World hospital and prison inmates and, of course, some unsuspecting scientists themselves. And there you have it. We were obsessed with all these things.
And it clearly influenced my singing, which began five years later in 1969. And I'm still alive. For which I congratulate myself, as we might all congratulate ourselves, if congratulations were/are in order. And now 20 years later, for many of the above reasons, our research isn't over.
Lastly, I would like to ask Mr Smith if he really thinks Turkish parents allow their daughters to be inspected for their virginal status because of Turkey's anti-fundamentalist stance.
Diamanda Galas (via email)
The Wire 195. May 2000
Global Transhumanist Anschluss (Ars Electronica and Transhumanism)