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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My Science Scout Badges

As a member of the ORDER OF THE SCIENCE SCOUTS OF EXEMPLARY REPUTE AND ABOVE AVERAGE PHYSIQUE, I have earned many science badges throughout my short tenure as scientist. Here are my explanations for how I've earned one. Do you also have science badges? Show them off with pride and explain how you earned each of them!

Science Communication


1) "Talking Science" Badge: Its pretty much the only thing I talk about, as evidenced by blog (with the occasional liberal atheist rant), much to chagrin of my wife.
2) "I Got a TV Gig" Badge: Ok, its a stretch, but I had my 30 seconds of fame on the National Geographic series Naked Science episode "The Deep". I walked to our cabinets and pulled specimen jars of cool critters we collected from the Gulf of Mexico methane seeps to show the camera. I didn't actually say anything, but I'm there plainly visible for all to see!
3) "Blogging Science" Badge: self-explanatory.
4) "Destroyer of Quackery" Badge: evidenced by a recent post debunking ridiculous ID claims about anemones and humans (see also posts at Panda's Thumb, Sandwalk, The Bad Idea Blog, and ERV). All future quackery will be utterly annihilated as well.
5) "I’m a Freaking Rock Star Who Sings About Science" Badge: See Spineless Songs sidebar to your right.

Science in Practice


6) "Sexing Up Science" Badge: As an undergrad I worked in a lab crossing genotypes of the hermit crab loving hydroid Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus.
7) "Frozen Stuff to See What Happens" Badge LEVEL III: We use liquid nitrogen to freeze samples on a cruise sometimes. We tend to find interesting and innovative ways to use the leftover nitrogen when we are back in the lab... I'll leave it at that until I finish my degree and get a job.
8) "Experienced With Electrical Shock" Badge LEVEL III: Though not in a scientific setting, I have shocked myself while attempting to replace an electrical socket in my living room. Except I forgot to shut off the circuit breaker. I flew one way, the screwdriver flew the opposite way.
9) "Science has Forced Me to Seek Medical Attention" Badge: I spilled HCl on my arm when I worked at my first ever science job, a plant ecophysiology lab as an undergrad.
10) "Statistical Linear Regression" Badge: Ecology is just applied statistics after all.
11) "Set Fire to Stuff" Badge LEVEL I: Still do!
12) "Done Science Under the Influence" Badge: My advisor doesn't read this does he??
13) "Active Volcano Is My Research Locale" Badge: Not necessarily volcanoes per se, but hydrothermal vents are as close as it gets! Sometimes they even get covered by liquid hot magma... required viewing below (in french)

14) "Scientist Who is Actually a Pirate" Badge: As Jim can surely understand, many marine biologists chose their profession to fulfill life-long aspirations of sailing the seven seas and drinking profuse amounts of rum while yelling out drunken sea chanties from the top of our lungs. Arrrrr!

Science Knowledge


15) "I Can Be a Prick About Science" Badge: Don't be a moron and we won't have any problems...
16) "Inordinately Fond of Invertebrates" Badge: Should be self-explanatory. Let me know if you don't get it. My inordinate fondness of invertebrates started as a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, while I was attending community college in Monterey, CA. As a volunteer you get free access to the aquarium any day of the week. I liked that. alot.
17) "I've Done Science With No Conceivable Application" Badge: Its my dissertation.
18) "I Know What a Tadpole Is" Badge: It looks like a sperm.
or alternative interpretation from snail. "I Know the Urochardate Life Cycle" Badge.
19) "Somewhat Confused as to Which Scientific Field I Belong To" Badge: Am I an ecologist, a taxonomist, a zoologist, a systematist? I know a bit of geology too...
20) "World's Foremost Expert on an Obscure Subject" Badge: I study hexacorallians (among other fauna) from hydrothermal vents. There are only 3 other people in the world who do that (actively), 2 of them are coauthors with me, the other is probably going to retire soon and was the mentor of 1 of my co-authors.

Extreme Nerdiness


21) "I've Named a Child or Pet for Science" Badge: My daughter's middle name is Linnea after both Linnaeus and the twinflower.


  1. Here's your spineless song for the day:

  2. I was gonna do a post about those science badges. You beat me to it.

  3. I thought that no. 18 was the 'I know about urochordate life cycles' badge.

  4. Dorid, I was moved. It will be posted on here one fine day. thanks!

    Aydin, I am quite positive you have earned your science badges in different ways than I. I think this should be a new meme. "Show me you Science Badges"! You must tag one other scientist. Consider yourself tagged Aydin.

    snail, brilliant! I've made the necessary changes in the post.

  5. Here are my badges - originally posted back in April. Needs some updating.

  6. My undergrad genetics professor named his son Coli, as in E. Coli.

  7. You also earned a Cook badge, my dear. Nothing like a shrimp pizza alá Kevvy. *smooch*


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