common misconceptions about scientists

Puritans: chill. The purpose of this article is not to discuss the concept of scientist. Scientists are people that make science, whatever science that may be and with whichever quality. This includes enginners, philologists, theologists and even plagiarists.

I live surrounded by science on-the-making and I desperatly try to make some myself. And the other day I realized that, before I entered this world, I thought scientists were either skinny pale people in lab-coats with a blank stare and no hairstyle or fat bearded logger-like shirted National Geographic documentary people too enthusiastic about some rock or some monkey to captivate an audience which is not interested in thar rock/monkey. The Big Bang Theory series geeks have a ground of truth (I often laugh with embarrassment watching it), but are, as all caricatures, an exageration. And I get to laugh at those who don’t realize it because I know that…

  • With some exceptions, scientists look pretty normal. Most of them still look normal after they start talking.
  • Not all scientists lack the social skills necessary to engage in non-paid sexual intercourse with a person. You would not imagine how many of them actually have romantic partners. Here in Belgium they even have lots of children!
  • There are cute to hot and sexy scientists.
  • There are stylish scientists with a sense of fashion, although I must admit they’re uncommon.
  • Not all scientists criticise out loud in the cinema the technical inaccuracies of the movie they’re watching. (“He would never be able to fly because…” He would never be able to fly period. IT’S A MOVIE, GET OVER IT!… Pardon my manners, I went to the cinema with people like this and never got to punch them in the face.)
  • Scientists go out to bars, caffes and clubs where other people also go. Those who don’t dance like baboons or Will Smith with arthritis are undistinguishable from anyone else.
  • Sometimes, especially the youngsters, they get drunk, puke in corners, go home walking like crabs and have huge hangovers the next day, just like any impressionable adolescent or repressed adult.
  • Scientists don’t work all day and night unless they must (deadlines, dictatorial bosses…).
  • They can even take their minds off they’re work and have hobbies. Sometimes those hobbies are pretty geeky, but some are quite ok, like going to the gym or playing the guitar.
  • Not all scientists are pseudo-intelectual pricks.
  • Actually, some male scientists read Men’s Health and some female scientists read Cosmopolitan and many male and female scientists like para-cultural manifestations like reality shows, soap operas, Justin Bieber, etc..
  • You can talk about regular stuff with a scientists, like what was on the news today or the last Champions League matchday results. Just stay off any mentions to they’re field of research cause that will get them correcting the common person’s misconceptions about something they know about and it’s a conversation killer. E.g. “Oohh otters are so cute, olding hands while sleeping like true love couples!” “Actually, otters only team up in single-sex floating colonies and males only seek the female groups in mating season. Besides, they are polygamous.”
  • Actually, there are many many scientists who don’t have a clue of what they’re working on and therefore cannot bore you with technical geeky talks about they’re area.
  • Not all scientists are gamers.
  • Not all scientists read comics.
  • Depending on the country, scientists get from science a stable and thriving career or precarious and underpaid jobs.
  • Science is a labour-intensive thing which leaves most of us to contributing with little pieces of a greater puzzle rather than breaking awsome new truths and innovations to the society. Many of them struggle with that fact and keep reminding thelselves of the bigger picture in order to feel motivated. Other scientists are just happy to help in any way. Others don’t even think about these things.

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