One of the first ever humour pieces that the Science Creative Quarterly published is resurfacing today, and it’s also one of my favourite (if only because it contains the phrase, “accelerating two rats to relativistic velocity.”)
There is the common perceived consensus is that there is “physics envy” among those in the life sciences, whereby, we biology types secretly wish we could be physicists:
Physicists often state their belief that all biologists would rather be physicists, but became biologists only because they were not very good at math. As evidence for this, they point to such findings as the fact that the vast majority of published studies in virology, cell biology, endocrinology, and even microbiology, use few if any partial differential equations or elements of number theory, and only one paper written by a biologist in the past 25 years (in the field of neurophysiology) has ever used tensor calculus.
But this piece proposes a different reality. That, in truth, it is the other way round – that, in fact, physicists, deep down, wish they could all be biologists. And that they had ultimately failed their true calling because of the simple “assertion that physicists have trouble keeping things alive.”
Anyway, judge for yourself. Read, “Physics Envy Among Biologists: Fact or Fiction?”
And while we’re at it, maybe I can start a small scientist specific meme with the following questions:
1. What’s your current scientific specialty?
2. Were you originally pursuing a different academic course? If so, what was it?
3. Do you happen to wish you were involved in another scientific field? If so, what one?