realistic science?

March 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

To elaborate on the “grungy and unprofessional scientist” story for your amusement…

On Wednesday, a bunch of advertising people came to work to shoot some photos for public transit ads that are apparently going to advertise three new science graduate programs on campus. These people asked that all 20-30 year olds in the building meet them in the basement so they could choose a few. We all headed downstairs – me, the four French guys, and a couple other dudes – and were promptly told that we were all “too grungy” and they needed someone who “looked professional, you know, like you were going to work”. At this, K. (French guy #1) raised his hand and answered “Well…we are at work.” Nonetheless, the people wanted a guy in a suit.

To make a long story short, she turned away the real scientists because they were too “grungy”, made us clean up a lab because it was “too messy”, and demanded an old optical microscope we had to dig out of a back room somewhere.

Of course, in the back of my mind, there is a monologue going on where I am trying to convince these people that I am spot-on-trend today: heeled combat boots, military-style jacket, skinny jeans.

Anyway, we went and found a guy in a suit in the student center for their film shoot.

So, if you see advertisements in the metro for a graduate program in science, please note that (1) the lab is a million times cleaner than a working one (apparently no work is actually done in this advertised lab); (2) we do not use ancient optical microscopes anymore; and (3) the people in the photos are absolutely not scientists. No one in his right mind would wear a suit in the lab.

Science is WAY cooler than that. We have to get our hands dirty. :)

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