How do you milk a fur seal?

Scientists are notoriously bad about explaining what we do. In our defense, it has taken us years upon years to get to the point where we understand what we do and why it is important. Then we are asked to sum it up to someone with no background in the subject matter in three lines. It is hard. Probably one of the hardest thing scientists have to do (yes, sceintists, you HAVE to do it). Most of us have not been trained to be educators, we have been trained to study some very specific aspect of the universe in great and mind-numbing detail.

Despite this, we are not off the hook and we do need to continue to work on our outreach. Our research is really neat and exciting. The more we talk about it, the more we share it, the better we get.

I found a gem of an article in The Atlantic that talks about how “Airport security lines, it turns out, are a fantastic venue for scientists to try their hand at outreach.”

Check it out for a good chuckle.

That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis

And other tales from the intersection of science and airport security


5 thoughts on “How do you milk a fur seal?

  1. This is hilarious! And directly relevant to my life. “What do you do?” Oh, I study owls. “How do you do that?” I hike a bunch and throw mice at them…. facepalm More like describe your profession terribly!


    1. I had a student application once that said “I squeezed jizz out of fish.”

      Your job sounds amazing! I wander around in the woods singing the Little Bunny Foo Foo song for the bears and setting mouse traps. Bwahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. _< Bahah! I’d hire that kid in a heartbeat, haha! I carry a large stick and a bright flashlight and yell “sorry creature!” anytime I hear a twig snap. It’s usually a toad or a deer, hasn’t been a mountain lion (yet), is rarely a bear. (This is all happening in the dark, btw). Took the work truck to get an oil change on the way to a survey site… I wonder if they noticed the cage of mice in the back along with all our camping gear.


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