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September 02, 2004

Ever Wonder What the Worst Jobs Are?

My friend Selma pointed me at this article from Popular Science that covers the worst jobs in science.

The Worst Jobs in Science

From fart sniffer to postdoc, the most torturous ways to make a living in science.

October 2003

Ah, science! Ennobling. Fascinating. Deeply challenging. Also, dangerous, gross and mind-bogglingly boring. We at Popular Science are sometimes brought up short by the realization that there are aspects of science—entire jobs, even—that, when you strip away the imposing titles and advanced degrees, sound at best distasteful and at worst unbearable. Having chosen last month our second annual Brilliant 10 -- a group of dynamic researchers making remarkable discoveries—we turned to this pressing question: For the rest out there, just how bad can a science job get?

The answer: Really, really bad.

We solicited nominations from more than a thousand working scientists and culled the list for the most noxious. Then we voted. Which is to say, there is absolutely nothing scientific about the ranking of the worst jobs in science that appears on these pages; it is simply the collective opinion of a group of alternately awestruck and disturbed editors who rarely suffer anything worse on the job than keyboard- induced repetitive-motion syndrome. [Popular Science]

Um. Ew. I don't think I could ever see some kid saying they'd want to do any of these when they grow up.

Posted by snooze at September 2, 2004 08:38 PM


Brad once had a job making guillotines for rats.

I can't remember what they were researching, but they were studying the brains (which were pureed after the rat was killed) for specific chemicals which would be altered if the rat was afraid or in pain at death. So he had to research the most painless way to kill them.

He determined that a guillotine was near-instantaneous, so he built a small rat guillotine, and then they had to make sure the rat was calm and happy before killing it.

He said it wasn't actually a very bad job.

Posted by: Flit [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 2, 2004 11:18 PM

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