I’m a poor excuse for a science scout

8 08 2007

I remember being laughed at constantly as a kid when I had to admit I was a Webelos scout, and being an undergrad interested in science often gets me the same equivalent of laughs/condescension. Still, I’m trying to get involved, and here’s my current accumulation of badges as member of the S.S.O.E.R.A.A.P.;

Scout

Talking
The “Talking Science” Badge

– When I get together with friends, they tell me to lay off the evolutionary science. Despite my best efforts, words like “adaptive” and “spandrel” still sneak back in anyway.

Blog
The “I blog about science” badge

– And do I ever…

Quackery
The “Destroyer of Quackery” Badge

– I have not, as yet, become the target of the likes of Michael Egnor, but that doesn’t mean that I’m willing to back down over a fight. This gets especially tricky when friends/relatives bring up topics like “The Secret”, UFOs, and cats that can predict death.

Prick
The “I can be a prick when it comes to science” badge

– Somewhat follows from the previous one; I can, at times, get a bit overzealous in the face of mumbo jumbo, quackery, egnorance, creationism, etc. At least I usually say I’m sorry…

Frozen
The “has frozen stuff just to see what happens” badge (level 1)

– Last summer I found an abnormally large dead wolf spider at the bottom of a pool and after examining it, I stuck it in the freezer just to see what happened. Other than contract its limbs a bit, the results were not very impressive.

Tadpole
The “I know what a tadpole is” badge

– Anyone else remember “Grow-A-Frog”?

Trans
The “somewhat confused as to what scientific field I actually belong to” badge

– I might not be a real scientist yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be confused. Given my interests expressed on this blog, vertebrate zoology/ecology seems to be my category, only such a category doesn’t seem to actually exist (at least not at Rutgers).

That’s about it, really. There are other potential badges I’d love to add, but being that I am not actually a paleontologist, I don’t work with large dangerous animals, I’m not a marine biologist, and I generally don’t have any real field work under my belt, those badges will have to wait.


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4 responses

9 08 2007
TheBrummell

Given my interests expressed on this blog, vertebrate zoology/ecology seems to be my category, only such a category doesn’t seem to actually exist (at least not where I am now).

It most certainly does exist as a category! Sometimes those people call themselves “wildlife biologists” or “behavioural ecologists”; in either case they’re pretty abundant. Also, every one I’ve ever met has been a really cool, outdoors/camping/running around/good science is important kind of person, so once you meet one (or more, they sometimes hunt in packs) you’ll probably see that it’s a good place to be. If the S.S.O.E.R.A.A.P. doesn’t have a category for that yet, it’s probably mainly because most wildlife biologists don’t spend as much time on-line as the rest of us lab-bound biologists.

9 08 2007
laelaps

Martin;

I probably should have phrased that line better; I doesn’t exist at Rutgers. So far, whenever I’ve explained my interests to a professor/adviser/etc. I’ve been told that such a field isn’t real and I need to pick something more specific or I’ll never end up being a scientist. Really helpful folks, huh?

9 08 2007
DoubleW

Hmmm… Shouldn’t that duck badge have a cross-out sign on it? You know, “quackbusters.”: Anyway, I’m waiting for the badge that fits me: Guy-who-likes-preaching-science-but-actually-has-no-idea-what-he’s-talking-about. Maybe it should depict a person with an anatomically oversized mouth… That’s definitely me.

9 08 2007
laelaps

Good point, although maybe it’s along the lines of “You need to know the quackery to fight the quackery…”

If you have to time you should make up that badge and send it in (they’re always looking for more submissions).

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