So Many Badges, So Little Time


Those kooky Canucks at the Science Creative Quarterly have started a new club: the Order of the Science Scouts of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique. Anyone is free to join, provided they're not a teetotaling, lying, world-dominating, badge-hater, 'cause they're really into badges. To profess their love of badges, the Science Scouts have produced quite a collection, some of which I feel qualified to wear on my Science Scout Sash. You see, these badges aren't handed out by some higher authority; you simply claim all the badges that apply to you and post them on your website, like so:


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.

Well, if it's "required for all members", then I guess I have no choice.


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.

This is a blog. There's a lot of science here (check the archives). And there's no scientology.


The "I'm pretty confident around an open flame" badge.

Recipients have demonstrated proficiency around open flames in laboratory settings.

See here.


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've done mutant screens, done crosses to study recombination rate and meiotic segregation, inbred animals for many consecutive generations, and bred animals for the sole purpose of grinding them up and extracting their DNA. And I came up with design for the badge. Yeah, I think I qualify for this one.


The "I can be a prick when it comes to science" badge.

In which the recipient can be so passionate about things of a scientific nature, that he/she may appear surly, rude, and/or unpleasant.

See here and scan the archives. I'm not one to keep my opinions on matters of science to myself.


The "I've done science with no concievable practical application" badge.

There are probably more who are deserving of this badge than you would expect.

I study the genome of an inconsequential fly that feeds on rotting fruit and vegetation (i.e., it's not an agricultural pest) and the NSF helps pay for it, which, by definition, means my research has absolutely no practical application.


The "cloner" badge.

In which the recipient has cloned something or other. Rules to a drinking game concerning this badge will be forthcoming.

Isolating DNA, amplifying regions of interest, cloning chunks of DNA, sequencing DNA -- I've done it all. And any badge with an associated drinking game is okay by me.

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