I recently watched the online trailer for a stage scientist named Doktor Kaboom!. (I presume it’s a pseudonym. Either that, or his grandparents had it changed from Kaboomowitz at Ellis Island.) From the trailer, I gleaned that Doktor Kaboom!’s primary mission, as one might imagine, is making various household objects go kaboom. Watching him catapult a banana across the stage, I realized exactly how Doktor Kaboom! and his ilk perpetuate myths about scientists.
“He’s completely misrepresenting us,” I complained to my wife as the video clip played. “He’s making us look awesome.”
Media portrayal of scientists is pretty much a binary state. Either we’re boring automatons in lab coats, babbling incomprehensibly, or we’re like Doctor Kaboom!, hiding the 80% of the job that’s not particularly exciting. Why do it, then? Because the other 20% of it is worth it.
One nit, though:
We are distrusted, feared, but most of all, misunderstood. We work, after all, in one of the only two professions that idiomatically follow the word “mad” — the other such profession being “hatter.”
The author forgets “cow.” Not that that is a profession to which one aspires. Outside of India.