WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore of Worlds Adrift
<from the article "great scientists past and present," originally written in Mellifluan>
The most celebrated scientist of this or any age, Alcibiana is herself, a fascinating subject of study. She was born high in the Kioki foothills to Karem parents. She developed quickly, becoming an avid reader and inquisitive young scholar. Aged eight, she was accompanied by her parents to the Gwendolier institute, in the hope that she might gain admittance. If the entrance examinations are gruelling now, they were more so back then. But being a prodigious talent, she sailed through.
Having graduated from Gwendolier to Panyana, she received the golden locust as a prize for her early flourishes (the locust represents Small, god of youthful voracity). She was known for her commitment to both study and the gods, and could be seen kneeling before the sacred arches at daybreak. She kept iconography of the goddess Icthuna above her bed, and her room at Panyana is not a small museum to her memory, serving as an example to new students of good organisation and focus. It remains a neat, sparsely-decorated room just as it was in her day, which leaves us with the few clues as to the real person behind the science. Those who spend time with her remembered her;
"She never seemed to need any help with her work, almost to a fault she would pride herself on doing it her way."
"Alcibiana was my best and worst student. We may never know half of the things she came up with, the theories she left unfinished when she died."
It was as if she ignored the acclaim, the prizes, for her discovery of Atlas' properties. Instead she tried to form a unified theory or Foundation's construction. She was never content, never finished. For the rest of her life until her untimely death, she worked feverishly to understand the electrical changes that she claimed existed beneath Foundation's surface. Astonishingly, given the meticulousness of her early career, Alcibiana only wrote a handful of these calculations down.
It is said she would lock herself away for hours on end, refusing to ead. It was later discovered (and there is still a chute there today) that she spend much of this time with a spade, digging down as far below Panyana as she could. This explained the many heavy bin bags she would leave outside her room for the maids.
"She seemed to stop doing conventional experiments after a time, becoming obsessed with more and more implausible theories, with seemingly no practical examples in nature. Nevertheless she strove to recreate them in the confines of her study, as evidenced by the tunnelling, the manifold materials and machinery. Some say she let success go to her head. I agree, although not in the way they mean it."
Tragically she passed away of malnourishment at the age of twenty-seven. Some believe she was a reborn follower of the Saborian creed, and her efforts were part of a scheme to join Aetherium. Her grave overlooks the University, just beyond the arches of the deities of Gall. There are always fresh flowers upon it, and it is just as common to see Gall's young students and supplicants here, as it is to see them at the arches of their gods.