Disclaimer: Words in mOcean is not responsible for any catastrophic set-backs to your career or life that may result from following the advice below.
The New Scientist recently ran an article with the title ‘Let’s give science a bad name in schools’. The argument put forward was that because science is often seen as boring by members of the general public, we need ‘rebellious’ role-models that today’s youngsters can identify with. Words in mOcean has compiled a list of five things you, as a marine scientist, can do to turn yourself into a world famous ‘scientific bad-ass’.
1) Act like a crazy person: Everyone loves a nutter: look at the cult following that Premier League superstar, and renowned rebel, Mario Ballotelli has amassed recently. So, the next time you get a paper rejected, instead of taking it graciously like an adult, why not call up that pain in the ass reviewer and give them a mouth-full; if it’s an anonymous reviewer, even better: call up every single person in your field and threaten them with words such as, ‘if I find out it was you that gave me that review, I’m gonna roll up a draft of my paper and shove it down your pedantic little pie-hole!’. Or, the next time you lose all your samples from the CTD when the bottles fail to fire, strip off to reveal a T-shirt that says ‘why always me?’. Do this enough, and you will become famous within your field in no time (a good start).
2) Become the Jamie Oliver of your lab: Mr Oliver was a breath of fresh air when he first appeared on the TV; other stuffier chefs were still measuring out precise weights of ingredients, whereas he just threw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that. You can use the same approach in the lab when making up essential lab shiz. Or at sea when taking water from the CTD, why not attempt a Jamie style ‘drizzle’ of seawater into your bottles (see image). Hopefully you too will be seen as a ‘breath of fresh air’ (except possibly by those pesky people who enjoy their seawater uncontaminated… yawn!). You should also ignore lab safety protocols whenever possible: safety is definitely NOT cool!
3) Take out a super-injunction: Nothing says ‘I’ve done something despicable’, quite like a super-injunction; plus, you are guaranteed bags of press attention! Unfortunately, this is gonna set you back a cool £50,000 (so get your grant writing head on). The real beauty of a super-injunction is that the truth can in fact be incredibly mundane: you could take one out to stop people talking about that terrible talk you gave at the last Ocean Sciences meeting, or the time you were responsible for losing the underwater glider in 2000 metres of water. However, when you’re inevitably ‘outed’ on Twitter you might want your ‘crime’ to be an interesting one, so why not get a super-injunction to prevent people talking about your…
4) Sex tape: ‘Whoah, this is too far!’, I hear you say. Maybe, but think about this: before hers was leaked on the internet, Paris Hilton was a relative nobody; overnight she was known all over the world, and off the back of a reality TV show swarms of teenage girls aspired to be just like her. If you’re the shy type, hire a body double. Now, all you have to do is leak it on the internet… the next day you will undoubtedly be an internet sensation; then it will only be a matter of time before you have your very own marine-themed reality series (you could call it ‘The Sample Life’), and an army of adoring fans. If this option is too extreme for you, and it is only minor notoriety and rebellion that you seek, then you should…
5) Embarrass yourself (drunk) and put the video on YouTube: Let’s face it, the best (and most watched) YouTube clips usually involve some drunken buffoon making an ass of themselves (see below). So what are you waiting for: liquor-up, grab a video camera and your favourite marine sampling device. Once you are notorious for drunken acts of rebellion, don’t forget to inspire the kids… this shouldn’t be too hard as, after all, there is a good chance you won’t have a job by this point to distract you!
4 thoughts on “Let’s give marine science a bad name in schools”
I think I know someone who thought he was the Jamie Oliver of the lab with his patented twist on the artificial seawater recipe. “Uhhh, yeah that much Milli-Q will do… just toss in a bit of that magnesium chloride, hmm, take a big chunk of sodium chloride, that looks about right, huh, what’s that, I just spilled a load of poisonous crap everywhere? Pfft, it’s okay, it’s not like sodium fluoride is THAT dangerous…” Needless to say, he is no longer working in science.
Funny enough in that same lab was the scientist who produced his own semen sample in the lab to check the health of his swimmers! After which he then proceeded to tell everone using that microscope after him what he had done! He is also no longer in that lab!
You can also utilise your scientific skills to become the most intelligent drug dealer, looking at your rate of energy and water consumption, thermal footprint and knowledge on plant life cycles! Not my own experience, funnily someone who also no longer has the need to work in science! That scientist may well be the bad ass of their hood!
I think Dolphins are working on #4 for us. As for #2 – I know few marine scientists who aren’t crazy foodies, so, done and done!