Cálculo – peça em dois actos, Carl Djerassi



Title: Cálculo – peça em dois actos (Calculus – a two-act play)

Author: Carl Djerassi

Translation: Mário Montenegro

Typology: Drama

Language: Portuguese

Year: 2011 (English original 2003)

Publisher: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra (University of Coimbra Press)



Synopsis: The public seems to be under the impression that it is only contemporary science which is moved by the competition for first place – an Olympics of sorts with a golden medal only. And in fact, this powerfull drive to be the first is at one time food and poison for scientists, as it has always been fundamental in the workings of their tribal culture. Through the figure of one of the greatests scientists of all times – Isaac Newton, “Calculus” demonstrates that the deviance resulting from such ambition was as steep 300 years ago as it is now. The 30 years’ feud between England and Germany’s greatest natural philosophers, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, as to whom had first invented calculus (diferential and integral equations) is of particular relevance, having been conducted by their followers. The manipulation of an anonimous eleven-member Royal Society commitee by its president, Newton, is nigh unknown and illustrated in “Calculus” through three of Newton’s followers: John Arbuthnot (Queen Anne’s doctor), the well-known mathematician and french immigrant Abraham de Moivre, and Louis Frederic Bonet, ambassator to the prussian king in London. The play, lastly, provides an answer to the question “what has moral integrity have to do with integral calculus?” In a single word: “Much.”