On May 26, students and faculty at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics unveiled what’s believed to be the world’s first monument to anonymous peer reviewers. The cube-shaped statue started out as a lump of useless concrete left on the university grounds. HSE sociologist Igor Chirikov launched a Kickstarter effort that raised $2,500 to chisel and polish the block into a shrine to the people Chirikov called the “invisible heroes of science.”
In honor of the unveiling, Quartz has written a poetic tribute to the monument and the reviewers it represents.
Ode to the Monument to an Anonymous Peer Reviewer
Of course it would be concrete, that sexless,
Thankless stuff that holds up everything else;
Of course there would be no funding. Your shrine,
Anonymous peer reviewer, resigned
To a life overlooked and unremarked—
And may it always be so. This stone stands
In tribute to things taken for granted:
Reason, scruples, a commitment to truth.
May future scholars hurry past unmoved
And not pause to marvel that it was thus.