Chad Orzel posted a cute bit about True Lab Stories: The Party Game. I like these things because, yes, they make it clear that those of us who do science put coffee cups on top of our cars and drive off, just like everyone else. For those of who are thinking about careers in science, you don’t always have to be brilliant, what you need is perseverance.
I can share one story from the lab where I was a graduate student.
One day, one of our visiting scientists came to me with a thermometer.
“It’s not working!” he said.
I was skeptical, but I took a look.
The thermometer was really dirty. So dirty, in fact, that I couldn’t even read the temperature, much less figre out if the thermometer was correct or not. So I walked over to the sink and washed it off.
Then I started looking for a water bath to test it out.
So focused was I on the calibration idea, that I didn’t even notice my colleague taking the thermometer and sheepishly slinking out of the room.