Neither my grad nor my post-doc PI was the type to say no to a photo op, and so I became accustomed to the ritual early on: the scrambling to find a clean lab coat for them to wear for the interview, the pulling up of spreadsheets and closing of Snood windows on the lab computers, the setting up of “I’m doing science!” type activities on the benches.
On one particularly memorable day, my post-doc PI burst into the lab Cosmo Kramer-style, and frantically ran down the length of the room, poking his head into each of the bays. “How is NO ONE doing bench work right now?!!” he yelled. “PBS is here!” The truth of the matter was that most of our research didn’t involve a ton of daily bench work, so it was not at all unusual to find the shakers and microcentrifuges sitting silent. Looking up from my
Google Reader very complicated data set, I offered, "Do you want me to, like, pipet something?"
He pledged his eternal gratitude, and I quickly set up a rack of 1.5ml microcentrifuge tubes next to a beaker of distilled H2O as the cameras began to roll.
Last week, I was asked to participate in a video for NJU commencement, and an eerie sense of deja vu washed over me as I doted around the lab, making sure everyone was wearing their appropriate PPE. We'd gotten a couple of good action shots when the videographer said, "You know what we really need? One of those shots where you're holding up a tube and looking at it." "Yes!" I exclaimed. "We scientists do that all the time!" And so we searched the lab for a passable colored liquid, finally settling on one of our pH standards. We were all cracking up, but awesome grad student managed to keep a straight face as he did the honors.
Doesn't he look so...sciencey?