This kind of cheap, lazy elitism ticks me off. It says nothing about why science is hard to understand, and it doesn’t even get the frustrations of the job right. I mean, “collecting data”? “Dense research articles”? Neither of those necessarily implies tedium or drudgery. Shockingly, not everything which requires patience and concentration is unpleasant.
I’ve heard the remark from a colleague that 80% of what we do is mundane, but we do that because 20% is really, really neat. (YMMV). One needs to acknowledge that science is not alone in this — professional (or other top-level) athletes, for example, spend more time practicing than they do playing the game. It’s all part of the larger picture. And, as Blake points out, who’s to say what is tedium or drudgery?