Yikes! An “Ask a ScienceBlogger” question already? Well, had I been a SciBlog some weeks ago, I would have quickly answered in response to the question (paraphrasing here), “Which modern technology should not have been invented?” My answer: pantyhose. They are the garments of pure unadulterated torture. Oh, wait, now what is today’s question? Here we go:
“Assuming that time and money were not obstacles, what area of scientific research, outside of your own discipline, would you most like to explore? Why?
In an alternate universe with stretched time and dollars, I would be a botanist specializing in phycology. In fact, this was a near miss since one of my very favorite classes as an undergrad was phycology. Somewhere along the way, I became molecularly diverted and took the fork in the road toward biochemistry and organic chemistry.
I loved the study of algal systematics, culturing cells, cytoplasmic streaming, and best of all, tromping around in the field in search of the mighty Volvox. Algae are not just about slime on rocks and green goo in ponds. Under the microscope, they are things of beauty. I even spent a summer at the Marine Biology Labs at Woods Hole studying marine algae.
For a time, I imagined myself as a tweedy professor pottering about in places like this or this. OK, maybe phycological research isn’t actually performed in those buildings but based on looks, it should be.
I don’t know that I could have made the scientific impact that I have with my current discipline, but dang! Phycology sure would be fun!