Monday, 15 June 2009

Move over Boy Scouts, make way for the O.O.T.S.S.O.E.R.A.A.A.P

That is, the Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique. If you do science, this is the organization to be part of! And just like the Boy Scouts, you earn badges (to show off on your website/blog/whatever - along with a brief explanation how/why you've earned each one) for doing awesome sciencey stuff!
Here are the one's I've earned:

The "talking science" badge: Required for all members. Assumes the recipient conducts himself/herself in such a manner as to talk science whenever he/she gets the chance. Not easily fazed by looks of disinterest from friends or the act of “zoning out” by well intentioned loved ones.

The "I Blog About Science" badge: In which the recipient maintains a blog where at least a quarter of the material is about science. Suffice to say, this does not include scientology. Don't know exactly what porportion of my blog is about science but it's definately more than 1/4.

The "I’m pretty confident around an open flame" badge: Recipients have demonstrated proficiency around open flames in laboratory settings. I regularly use a Bunsen burner without disasterous consequences.

The "Destroyer of Quackery" badge: In which the recipient never ever backs down from an argument that pits sound science over quackery.

The "Sexing Up Science" badge: In which the recipient has had experience with things such as selective breeding, crossing, mate selection, prokaryotic conjugation, fertility studies, STD related microbiology, and/or any other acceptable interpretation of the badge. I vowed never to breed Drosophlia
again but at least it got me this badge.

The "has frozen stuff just to see what happens" badge, levels 1-3: In which the recipient has frozen something in the freezer (I)/dry ice (II)/ liquid nitrogen (III) for the sake of scientific curiosity.

The "I’ve done science with no conceivable practical application" badge. Perhaps this should be known as the "basic research" badge.

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.

The "Cloner" badge: In which the recipient has cloned something or other. I've done more cloning than you can shake a stick at. A cloned stick, even.

The "totally digs highly exothermic reactions" badge. Because who doesn't enjoy a fanciful display of exothermic activity?

The "somewhat confused as to what scientific field I actually belong to" badge. I'm trained in genetics, but I do molecular biology in a biochemistry lab. You tell me what my field is.

The "Works With Acids" badge. Usually only HCl and acetic acid, but hey, DNA
is technically an acid too!

The "Non-explainer" badge (Level 1): Where the recipient can no longer explain what they do to their parents.

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