What Scientists Can Be Grateful for on Thanksgiving

Adam Ruben in Science:

Science_thanksgiving_400X317At Thanksgiving, we identify the usual culprits. We’re thankful for family, we’re thankful for friends, we’re thankful for the food itself. We’re thankful that Farting Cousin Barry’s flight was delayed. But do we ever stop and express our appreciation for science? No, says Google: A search for “Thanksgiving science” yields only articles about whether turkey really makes you sleepy. So let’s do it now.

• We are thankful for our families who don’t flinch when we say that we need to go into the lab at midnight, even though the gist of this sentiment is that we’re choosing bacterial cultures over them.

• We are thankful that some branches of science have produced some pretty useful things, because their success allows the other branches to keep working on fun, pointless crap below the radar.

• We are thankful for the goggles that keep our eyeballs intact, albeit at the expense of long-lasting dark lines on our foreheads.

• We are thankful for the big words that make us sound smart.

• We are thankful that our profession inspires an entire branch of wonderfully inventive fiction.

• We are thankful to the funding agencies that support our research. Without them, we’d be at home experimenting on our cats.

• We are thankful for high-quality journals that allow us to share our advances with the world, like Science — and there’s this other one, I think, a British one that starts with an “N”. Nurture? Neighbors? I don’t remember.

More here.