Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Choose the right beverage

A friend from my Scripps Institution of Oceanography days mentioned a saying from one of her professors the other day – “science is all about choosing the right drink for the job.” So, how does one do that? Here’s my take on a few of your standard choices, as applied to marine science.

                           Yes                                                                              No
·      Before diving (all the better to generate                ·      Diving in a drysuit
more pee to keep you warm in the wetsuit)               ·      Picking foraminifera out of sand under the
·      Running instruments all night long in the             microscope, or other tasks where fine motor skills
basement                                                                    are helpful
·      Doing complicated statistics                                  ·      Working for long stretches in the cleanlab in a
·      Writing                                                                   bunny suit that takes ages to get in and out of
·      Reading turgid articles                                           every time you have to pee

                             Yes                                                                             No
·      Talking to friends about science                            ·      Giving talks about science, unless you are 
                                                                                    at nerd nite


                              Yes                                                                             No
·      Formatting manuscripts                                         ·      Working in the lab
·      Making your figures look fancy in Illustrator        ·      Being interviewed   
·      Smoozing potential donors                                    ·      Responding to unpleasant emails

                                Cocktail (preferably with paper umbrella flourish)

                              Yes                                                                              No 
·      After a long day in the field                                    ·      Before a long day in the field
·      When tomorrow’s fieldwork is cancelled due        ·      Before a long night of sample processing
to bad weather/transit on the ship                               ·      While crafting your response to mean reviews
·      After receiving mean reviews on your most           of your most beloved manuscript
beloved manuscript


                               Yes                                                                             No
·      When you’ve run out of everything else                ·      When it might debilitate you with parasites
Cocktails also double as paperweights for scientific articles
Seawater samples are not tasty

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