The July edition of Popular Science (it doesn’t look like there’s an on-line version available) has a great article titled, The Worst Jobs in Science. The article outlines the 10 worst jobs available for scientists around the world – most with fairly vivid descriptions of what makes each of the jobs stink (some literally). He’s my summary . . .
10. Whale-feces researcher – search the seas for floating whale crap to be able to determine the state of whales in an area. Apparently, whale poop contains loads of info about the whale that left the package behind and it’s loads easier than getting similar data from a whale in motion.
9. Forensic entomologist – determining the time of death of a murder victim by studying how maggot infested he/she is. Yum.
8. Olympic drug tester – standing by while thousands of athletes pee into cups, then testing each urine sample for a variety of performance enhancing drugs.
7. Gravity research subject – spend 21 straight days in a bed, at a 6-degree, head-down angle to help determine the problems caused by lack of gravity including, atrophied muscles, bone degeneration and heart problems. Where do I sign up?
6. Microsoft security grunt – work 24/7 to address the security holes in Microsoft’s products. As the article states:
. . . to most hackers, crippling Microsoft is the geek equivalent to taking down the Death Star, so the assault is relentless.”
5. Coursework carcass preparer – be one of the people that prepare the myriad of frogs, bugs, pigeons, sharks and pigs for dissection by ninth graders. Apparently, the job includes the happy euthanization task required before putting the specimens in a bottle full of formaldehyde.
4. Garbologist – like an archeologist except you work through trash. Recent trash like the stuff you just took to the curb last night.
3. Elephant vasectomist – as if snipping the reproductive parts of a many-ton mammal weren’t difficult enough – a single testicle is one-foot across, it turns out that in an elephant the parts that require snipping are on the inside, meaning that you have to cut through some seriously tough skin to get to them.
2. Oceanographer – this one seems pretty normal, right? I guess in the science world this is a bad news/bad news kinda job. Basically, everything an oceanographer studies these days exposes more troubling information about how global warming is real, the planet is dying and that we won’t be eating sushi in the next 30 years.
1. Hazmat diver – These guys dive into sewers, toxic waste dumps, used medical material and inside nuclear reactors. Then they clean ’em up. One story told in the article is about a diver that had to dive into a waste lagoon of factory pig farm that not only contained pig urine and liquid pig feces, but also included all the needles that had been used to inject the pigs with hormones and antibiotics. OK, I’ve got the picture. You guys definitely win.