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Jocelyn Paine

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The Consultant

March 29, 2009

It is told of Sir Harold Jeffrey, the famous theoretician and geophysicist, that he was at one time consultant to an oil company.Attending their meeting in London, Sir Harold sat quietly while the company's scientists discussed their problems and difficulties. About half way through the morning, they stopped, thought, and said "What do you think of this, Sir Harold?" "I think it's time for coffee" he said. The rest of the morning was spent with more of the scientists' discussion. Then, "What do you think, Sir Harold" "I believe it's lunch time" was the reply. The same happened in the afternoon — except that it was tea time. Came the end of the meeting, and the scientists finally said "Well, now that you've heard it all, Sir Harold, what is your opinion?" "I'm glad it's your problem and not mine" was his concluding remark.
From My anecdotage: apocryphal tales by Ronald D Edge, in More Random Walks in Science, an anthology compiled by Robert L Weber.

 

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