Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scientists believe they are changing the world. Are you listening?

At one of my talks recently, the head of marketing for a major Life Science Company asked me in the most serious of tones, "What do scientists do for fun?"  I've gotten similar questions in the past, so it is clear to me that you might not know.

Scientists are like everyone else. Despite what the movies tell you, we are normal people with normal lives.  We play soccer, drink beer, take the kids on vacation, and play fantasy football.  I play in rock band and my best lab mate is married to an actress.  We are just like you.....

...the only difference is there is no one in our lives that can or wants to understand what we do for a living.  

This includes for the most part our colleagues and co-workers and you Mr. Rep.

Neither my mom or my wife could tell you one thing I have researched and why it is important.  It could be that they don't love me, but I doubt it.  What we work on is really difficult to understand. Each scientist even the first year graduate student or technician is arguably the world expert in their tiny realm.  The ideas we struggle with are too elusive to even make a textbook.

You can exploit this to sell me products.  We want to believe you care.  If you can show us you do, we will buy your products and tell our friends how great it is.

We are buying you, not your kit.

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