To kick off the new badge “I’m a marine biologist and, to be honest, I kind of hate dolphins”, Science Creative Quarterly has published an article about the realities of being a marine biologist. Milton states it clearly.
Just be honest with yourself. If you want to talk to dolphins you don’t want to be a [marine] biologist. What you really want to do is explore your past lives, get in touch with the Cosmic Oneness and conduct similar-minded individuals on tours to Central America looking for evidence that We Are Not Alone. Our experience is that people who feel this way last about 6.5 minutes in any biology program.
With this new badge, which I rightfully claim, I am announcing my entry into the ORDER OF THE SCIENCE SCOUTS OF EXEMPLARY REPUTE AND ABOVE AVERAGE PHYSIQUE. My list of current badges is below the fold.
- The “talking science” badge. Required for all members. Assumes the recipient conducts himself/herself in such a manner as to talk science whenever he/she gets the chance. Not easily fazed by looks of disinterest from friends or the act of “zoning out” by well intentioned loved ones.
- The “MacGyver” badge. In which the recipient has demonstrated that his/her science communciation prowess was handy in simplifying a potentially challenging scenario. On my way to a scientific meeting in my 67 Fairlane, my throttle cable broke. I replaced it with a piece cut from electrical cord from a desk lamp in my trunk. I made the meeting and gave my talk.
- The “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, I’ve got a TV gig” badge. In which the recipient plays a significant science performance role in TV. Hopefully
- The “I blog about science” badge. Obviously
- The “arts and crafts” badge. Because you can’t have a bunch of badges without an arts and crafts badge. This one assumes the recipient has all manner of “craftiness” with a sciencegeek twist. I once taught arts and crafts at a Girl’s Club. One project was to build an octopus out of clay.
- The “destroyer of quackery” badge. In which the recipient never ever backs down from an argument that pits sound science over quackery. Here.
- The “my degree inadvertantly makes me competent in fixing household appliances” badge. Fixing equipment at sea is my specialty. Apparently my power comes from the salt air because my attempts around the house are less than successful.
- The “I can be a prick when it comes to science” badge. In which the recipient can be so passionate about things of a scientific nature, that he/she may appear surly, rude, and/or unpleasant. I’m a prick when I don’t talk about science.
- The “respect me – I’ve published at an upper tier publication for popular science readership” badge. American Naturalist, Evolution, and Evolution again
- The “inordinately fond of invertebrate” badge.
In which the recipient professes an arguably unhealthy affinity for things of this category. Obviously.
- The “I’ve done science with no conceivable practical application” badge. And I will continue to to do so.
- The “I know what a tadpole is” badge.In which the recipient knows what a tadpole is. Basically, an easy way to get a badge that looks a little like the semen one above.
- The “I’m a scientist who is fundamentally opposed to administrative duties” badge. I have said more than once, I wish I could just be left alone to do my science.
- The “science has forced me to seek medical attention” badge. In which the recipient has had to pay a visit to the hospital as a result of scientific work. In an unfortunate accident in the middle of the Pacific, I injured my knee which required a trip to the hospital when we returned to shore in Hawaii.
- The “somewhat confused as to what scientific field I actually belong to” badge. Macroecology, biogeography, marine biology, evolutionary ecology, experimental ecology, deep-sea biology, molluscan biology, theoretical biology, etc.
- The “statistical linear regression” badge. We figured that if you actually know what those three words together mean, then you deserve a badge. Statistics rock! I have actually went one step further and advocated a particular statistical method.
- The “world’s foremost expert on an obscure subject” badge. In which the recipient is the leading expert in a field that few others share an interest in. Deep-sea gastropods…enough said.
- The “works with acids” badge.
- The “works with feces” badge. All detritus arriving at the seafloor has probably went through the digestive track of something.
- The “I may look like a scientist, but I’m actually also a pirate” badge.Drinks rum. Into pillaging and stuff. Soft spot for evolutionary biology. Of course!
- The “what I do for science dictates my having to wash my hands before I use the toilet” badge. Formalin and my genitalia don’t mix.
- The “I actually grew up AND became a marine biologist” badge.
Out of the millions of children who aspire to work with dolphins and their ilk, this recipient is actually someone who does precisely that.