The balding man in khakis and a Hubble t-shirt
seated across from her flipped a switch and leaned towards the two-headed mike
hovering over the center of the table. "Welcome back to 'Unconfirmed Citings',
listeners. I'm Arvin Daugherty, and we've been speaking with Paula Isikov,
whose research paper sparked a tsunami of controversy when she posted it on the
Internet a few days ago."
Paula, who felt a bit overdressed in the navy
suit she had originally intended to wear to the conference where her paper was
supposed to have been presented, glanced at the tech in the sound booth. The
was staring at her like she'd just admitted to being a space alien, and it
wasn't helping her mood.
"Before the break," the talk-show host said as
he laced his stubby fingers, "Ms. Isakov told us about the call she'd gotten
from the conference coordinator, who not only refused to accept the paper she
had submitted, but cancelled her pre-paid membership in the event as well. They
really didn't want to take any chances with your findings getting out, did
"Apparently not," she agreed, studiously
focusing on Daugherty. "Of course, the conference committee was under the
impression that if they blocked publication, that would be the last of it. I
guess none of them has ever heard of the Internet."
"Judging from the lights on my phone," he said,
punching one of them, "some of my listeners have. Hello, you're on the air. Got
"Damned right I do," the caller said angrily.
"What the hell right does this ditz have to accuse Republicans of being
"That's cutting right to the chase, caller.
Let's give Ms. Isakov a chance to respond."
Paula made a fist of her right hand, and then
flattened it against the table to relieve the stress. "I realize that my
findings have been characterized like that in several incendiary blogs, but we
are talking about cutting edge neurological science here, and it's easy to get
lost in the possible implications."