Posted by: barn owl | September 10, 2008

Stuff Scientists Like

Over at the Gene Expression blog, Razib has a post that allows you to calculate the number of “Stuffs White People Like” that apply to you. I decided to start a list of “Stuff Scientists Like”, but be warned, my list is biased towards biologists. Feel free to add other ideas in the comments.

1. Freebies. This includes T-shirts, mugs, toys, pens, bags, sample floats, magnets, and candy typically given away at lab supply company product fairs, commercial booths at meetings, and in special offers from lab supply companies. So what if it’s worthless tat? It’s free.


2. Hoarding and Collecting. Inside the lab and out. Commonly hoarded items in the lab include freebies, disposable plasticware, magic lots of serum and antibodies, 2×2 slides from ye olde tymes, faded gel photos, journals, and colored Sharpies. Collected items include toys and figurines representing favored lab animals, souvenirs from cities visited while attending scientific meetings, and primitive drawings by your own children and/or those of your co-workers.

3. Salvaging. My personal favorite. Passions run the gamut from old glassware to ancient histological stains to weathered embryology texts to creaky vibratomes to scrapped lab furniture. Delicious.

4. Pretending to Eschew Popular Culture. Closely related to the “Not having a TV” characteristic from Stuff White People Like, but more extensive. Includes disdain for collegiate and professional sports, popular music, movies, television, junk food, and books.

5. Graphs and Statistics. Everything can be turned into a graph of some sort, right? And statistics can be used, as long as n>2.

Edit: Razib now has a domain where all the stuffs can be aggregated and discussed! Yay!



  1. […] a laboratory I might not have a valid basis for saying anything here. Still I kind of dug this post “stuff scientists like” that I noticed at Razib’s site. (He added his own list) Some things I quibble with. (I have a […]

  2. I love free floaty stuff and giant microbes too – I have Ebola on my desk at work. He enjoys the convivial office atmosphere.

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