Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

I have the great fortune of attending yet another protracted managerial development class for the entirety of this coming week. I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be doing this. Do I need to add another scoop to the pile of steaming sarcasm? Most scientists I know in the corporate world view such management training with biting world-weary cynicism although we pony up and check off the boxes by enrolling in the classes. However, the marketing and sale types enthusiastically feed off these corporate training buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


The scientific aspects of my job are fab, but the administrative stuff? Not so much. Still, it’s a prominent part of my work-a-day landscape just as grading papers might be for the academicians here. Managing a boisterous and argumentative group of scientists is both delight and challenge. With regard to the challenging part, a physicist friend, known pseudonymously as “Michael Fuggin’ Faraday” or “William ‘I am the Lord’ Thomson,” offered this:

I suppose you know that a group of whales is a pod, a group of birds is a flock, and a group of scientists is a conflict.

For more names of animal congregations, check out this list from the USGS and these collective nouns. I suppose the correct nomenclature for a group of the Pan genus is “troop,” but I like…

“a bacchanal of bonobos”