Little kids ask a lot of questions, and it’s the mark of a confident parent that when they don’t actually know why the sky is blue, they can go ask an expert. Or just make something up. But I think I know which one I’d prefer. When Sophie Lester‘s parents had to sit down with her and explain that, no matter how much she asked, they couldn’t get her a dragon for Christmas, they also suggested that she write to somebody who might be able to get her one. Sophie knew exactly what to do, and suggested that they ask a scientist.
And that’s how the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia’s national science agency, wound up apologizing for not being able to create dragons yet.
“And for this Australia,” the CSIRO said in a statement, “we are sorry.”
We’ve been doing science since 1926 and we’re quite proud of what we have achieved. We’ve put polymer banknotes in your wallet, insect repellent on your limbs and Wi-Fi in your devices. But we’ve missed something.
There are no dragons.
Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs. We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon. But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety.
Sophie, who was planning on naming her dragon Toothless if a girl, Stuart if a boy, was very happy with the response. Her mother Melissah told The Age that Sophie and her friends all want to be scientists now. “She’s saying Australian scientists can do anything.”
This morning when the film crew left, Sophie said ‘I forgot to tell them they can come back when we have a dragon.’ I told her they can’t do it now, it might be very long time but they’re looking into it.
So that’s probably at least as long as it’ll take for Sophie to be old enough to watch Game of Thrones, as the CSIRO kind of suggest at the end of their letter. You can see pictures of Sophie’s handwritten letter (including a self portrait with her dragon) here.
(via The Age.)