Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Worst Jobs in Science

WILLIAM SPEED WEED,POPULAR SCIENCE - Think your job's bad? Try dragging a bedspread around tick-ridden thickets, pausing regularly in the 100-degree heat not to squeegee the sweat from your brow but to tweeze dozens of the tiny pests into a collection jar. Reconsidering your career choice? Imagine training for years as a veterinarian, only to find yourself engaged in lab work designed to make the tail-wagging puppies in your charge sick, knowing all the while that when the study is over, the pooches will be euthanized. Having a bad day? Just be glad you're not spending it in minute examination of unusual growths on a dozen or so people's posteriors.

But don't feel sorry for the scientists and staffers employed in these travails and the 14 others gathered in this, our second annual countdown of the worst jobs in science — they probably wouldn't want your job any more than you'd want theirs. Case in point: As we canvassed hundreds of scientists for worst-job nominees, an inexplicable thing happened -- the glorious and esteemed calling known as "science journalist" kept garnering votes. Something about missing out on the chance to do real science ourselves, coupled with our need to simplify (or was it "oversimplify"?) the subjects we cover.

Anal-Wart Researcher
Worm Parasitologist
Lab-Animal Veterinarian
Tampon Squeezer
Landfill Monitor
K-25 Demolition Worker
Ecologist at St. John’s Harbor
Iraqi Archaeologist
Tick Dragger
Computer Help-Desk Tech
Congressional Science Fellow
Public-School Science Teacher
Root Sorter
Television Meteorologist


At 7:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha, great article. I will have to think of those poor people when I get discouraged.


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