The work is intensive, and captivating. Our daily schedule has increased from six hours to eight, and I now finish my day at six, one hour after my companions. We have agreed that from now on we meet at the apartment in Kreuzberg, and I enjoy the prospect of three beautiful women waiting for me there every day…
As a member of a highly scientific community I feel at times overwhelmed by the knowledge of those specialists. The geneticists hold the high ground, as the debates have moved irresistibly towards the feasibility of clearing the human genome from the spurious anomalies that are cause to so many diseases and unhappiness. My own genetic spectrum was used several times as example, which made me a little uneasy at first. Gabrielle, who has become ever so friendly and chatting, reassured me, and explained that my case was most interesting since my antecedents presented a variety of mutations. I am still perplexed about that remark.
We received several thorough exposés of the current status of genetic science, and of its possible applications. I discovered that our group comprises at least four Nobel prizes, in genetics and medicine. The work is split each day into one theoretical and one practical seminar, with open discussions in-between. The other non-biologist member of the group is a young Korean lady, named He-Ran, who appears to be a statistician specialising in demographics. Demographics is the other strand of work for this group, but we have not yet started in earnest. This is where this work group dovetails with the environment and climate change strand of work.
Our evenings in Kreuzberg are enchanted and tender: the four of us seem to be under some sort of charm, a spell, that now governs our emotional life. Sarah and I were never prude, but now, together with Melissa and Jane, we have utterly forgotten any inhibitions we might had left in us. It may be the city, and the contrast between the stern work of the day and our relaxed evenings. Jane, as ever an enthusiastic and imaginative participant in our games, but also a critical observer, thinks that we are in someone’s story. Perhaps it is true: we seem to be floating happily in a direction that no longer depends on our own will.
Today there was a slight change to the normal schedule: I was invited to take part in a smaller group test in a genetic lab in Friedrichsain. We were driven there in a small grey van with reflective windows, six of us including He-Ran and myself. The others were all specialists in genetics or human biology. The work consisted of a deeper study of genes conditioning certain mental conditions, and their counterparts: those that appear to enable some aptitudes to science, mathematics and creative skills. There was half an hour of a film that seemed to suggest that similar studies on other species may yield interesting results for humans as well. He-Ran thought we were being prepared for some experimental work.