26 September 2007

On my honour, I will try (2/4)

This post is the second in a four-part series. The first, which includes an introduction to The Science Scouts, can be found here.

Without further ado,
here is my second batch of Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique badges.

The "destroyer of quackery" badge. My friends and colleagues are often surprised to learn that I had a Southern Baptist, creationist upbringing and, even more bizarre for a scientist working at The Natural History Museum in London, that I grew up in that religious, right-wing enclave, that very buckle of the Bible Belt, that city in the sky, sometimes known as the Evangelical Vatican, yes: Colorado Springs, Colorado. Documentaries like Hell House and Jesus Camp don't shock me, simply because I lived them. Not only have I personally escaped quackery, however, I am out to destroy it, hence this badge. In addition to an external review of this blog establishing me and fellow Beagle blogger Peter Mc as "gorers of creationist oxen", I also fly the flag of the scientific method at the museum, where I am helping to organise an internal workshop on communicating evolution more effectively in light of our "diverse" audiences.

The “sexing up science” badge. My PhD involved mating thousands if not millions of fruit flies to produce some cleverly messed-up offspring. How does one do this, one might ask? First, you collect virgins fresh out of their cocoons (you can tell them by their distended, translucent abdomens... hubba hubba) and put them in a separate vial. Then you get some sex-deprived males from another vial and put them in with the virgins. One calls to mind Monty Python's Castle Anthrax scene.

The "will gladly kick sexual harassers' ass" badge. I raised a big stink when I found pornography in the tool drawer in the lab (I won't say which lab or where). I also put the eternal kibosh on the plague of nudie post-cards that were regularly sent by male colleagues doing fieldwork in locales with topless beaches back to the lab ("Greetings from Morocco! Wish you were here!"). Puh-leeze. Science isn't just for boys anymore, get over it.

The "has frozen stuff just to see what happens" badge (LEVEL III). Liquid nitrogen is fun. 'nough said.

Coming soon, the third installment, with badges 9-12 (of 17).

1 comment:

Kevin Z said...

I propose a liquid nitrogen fan club.

There should definitely be liquid nitrogen on board the Beagle replica...