Posted by: Dan | June 24, 2009

Science Scout Merit Badges

Ever heard of the Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique? They’ve got themselves some neato merit badges, for amusement and “By the grace of all that is good about science.”

For the propagation of an ideal where science communicators can meet firstly, for drinks; secondly, for communicating; and ultimately, for networking.

Well, I’m a little far away from other science bloggers for meeting over drinks. And I admittedly blog more about nature nowadays that science per se. But I support all of the same things and occasionally jump in to promote science literacy. So let’s see what merit badges I’m qualified for…

The “talking science” badge: Assumes the recipient conducts himself/herself in such a manner as to talk science whenever he/she gets the chance. That’s me, as friends and family will attest to.

The “I blog about science” badge: In which the recipient maintains a blog where at least a quarter of the material is about science. Well, look around. I’ve discussed a fair bit I think.

The “I know what a tadpole is” badge: In which the recipient knows what a tadpole is. Basically, an easy way to get a badge that looks a little like the semen one above. Now, this is purely low-brow humor, and not that I’m above that (I’m not), but I actually work with Xenopus studying development. I get to play with tadpoles almost every day, so I’d say I earned this one.

The “cloner” badge: In which the recipient has cloned something or other. Rules to a drinking game concerning this badge will be forthcoming. Check, done that. Looking forward to the drinking game.

The “has done science whilst under the influence” badge. This can apply to both achieving moments of intellectual clarity or actual performance of an experiment whilst under the influence. It presumes talking about science under the influence a given. Yes, science comes up as a topic of discussion from time to time, after a few drinks. And then there are the handful of times I’ve actually been working in the lab while under the influence – most notably after having a few glasses of champagne with someone in the department who’s just defended their thesis, after which I have to get back to work.

The “I use twitter to spread science” badge: Science in less than 140 characters is beautiful too. Come visit me on Twitter, I’m Cellsnbirds.


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