The Science uniform

Nov 10 2009 Published by under Uncategorized

On my way to the conference last week I spent some time on the same large conveyance as three other people traveling to the same destination. They were traveling together, but I had never met them, nor they I. We were all aware that we were being picked up together at the end of the trip, however.

When we met up at the place we were supposed to be picked up, I introduced myself to the three of them and we started chatting. During the conversation one of the three said, "We had you picked out on the trip." When I inquired as to what had given me away, she suggested the following items (which may differ slightly from those I actually own) that I provide for you to paste onto your own scientist paper doll.


At first I found this odd, until we got to the meeting and I was struck by the phenotype of the people (who are not in my direct field) there and how clearly I matched. It was nearly comical. Maybe I'm meant to change fields and never got the memo.

In any case, it got me wondering if there are other "uniforms" in different fields and how they might differ from the model I suggest here.

9 responses so far

  • Anonymous says:

    I was stuck at Big Ass Airport for about an 8 hour storm en route to a meeting of a dozen people. I saw this guy in "the uniform" coming and going from the gate area and I wondered if he was the international dude on the panel, so I asked him. Yup. He looked like he was headed where I was going, talk about standing out in a crowd. Shoe Pic! jc

  • Anonymous says:

    Ouch, I thought I was sorta unique too. Not exactly those items but variations on that theme.

  • Professor Chaos says:

    Yep. Generally the same for my field. The jacket would be fleece, though...I've never seen my people assemble in a non summer month...I have no idea what our off season version of Tevas is!

  • Dr. No says:

    I always play this game in airports at conference cities. My field is a variation on the theme too, but I won't divulge the differences.

  • Prof-like Substance says:

    JC - I'm not trying to start a shoe-off here, just using a visual. I don't think PiT needs another excuse to link to those toe-sock-things. Anon - It was a bit strange sitting in a room dominated by people with a clear preference for certain items that I owned, yet had really thought about as common among a science field. Chaos - Come on, that's too easy. They're even trying to make snazzy women's versions. Dr. No - All tweed? Leather elbow pads AND knee pads? Titanium brief cases? Indiana Jones whips?

  • Anonymous says:

    You also identify the juveniles of this species by their poster tubes and Nalgene bottles.

  • Professor in Training says:

    Haha - I wasn't going to link to my supercool toe socks! I did laugh out loud as I scrolled down to see all of the pics though as I use/wear ALL of those items on a daily basis with only slight variation ... I have a MacBook, my Timbuk2 bag and GoreTex jacket are different colours and I have the Keen Presidios, not the Briggs you showed. And I always have a Nalgene bottle attached to me. Scary!

  • MOD.cur says:

    At the large society meeting I frequently attend you can identify 2 distinct substrains based on their plumage. The first Scientist benchi is clearly identifiable by their belief that jeans and sneakers/tevas qualify as "business casual". The second Scientist consultus, by their fancier attire and shoes to warm Isis' heart (at least on the females).

  • tideliar says:

    @Mod.cur Genius! And true! I have recently moulted ino the next life-stage of the species!

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