Worm Runner's Digest

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The Worm Runner's Digest (W.R.D.) was created in 1959 by biologist James V. McConnell[1] after his experiments with memory transfer in planarian worms generated a torrent of mail enquiries.[2] The W.R.D. published both satirical articles, such as "A Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown", and scientific papers, the most famous of which, "Memory transfer through cannibalism in planaria", was a result of McConnell's RNA memory transfer experiments with planarian worms and was later published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry.

The title for the W.R.D., McConnell explained, was an extension of the psychological jargon that terms psychologists who work with rats "rat runners" and those who work with insects "bug runners."[3]

After complaints that the satirical articles and the scientific publications were not distinguishable, the satirical articles were printed upside down in the back half of the W.R.D. along with a topsy turvy back cover. In 1966, the title was changed to the Journal of Biological Psychology in an effort to make the publication more accessible to the scientific community.[3]

In 1979 the magazine ceased publication.[1] Articles from the Worm Runner's Digest have been compiled and printed in a number of anthologies, including Science, Sex, and Sacred Cows and The Worm Re-Turns.

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  1. ^ a b Larry Stern (January 2013). "Psychological hijinks". Monitor on Psychology. 44 (1). Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. ^ Sommer, Robert (1991). "James McConnell (1925-1990)". American Psychologist. 6: 650. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.46.6.650.
  3. ^ a b "Publications: Worm Runners on the Run". TIME. November 4, 1966. Retrieved April 12, 2012.