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Science Is Hard

It's so hard--especially drawing a proper bond to that carbon. Credit: Shutterstock

It’s so hard–especially drawing a proper bond to that carbon. Credit: Shutterstock

Experiment got you down? Reaction yield low? That chromatogram just not telling you what you want to hear?

Take solace on this fine Friday in the fact that the National Science Foundation says “science is hard.” Or at least that’s what our favorite faux-news outlet, The Onion, reports.

Admittedly, this article is from 2002. But I just saw it this week thanks to a tweet from @the_distillate. So it’s new to me and now, perhaps, new to you too.

According to the report, NSF held a symposium back in the day to discuss just how confusing various scientific disciplines can be. The scientists that attended came to the conclusion that the “Law of Difficulty” is true.

I leave you with a few choice quotes:

“To be a scientist, you have to learn all this weird stuff, like how many molecules are in a proton,” University of Chicago physicist Dr. Erno Heidegger said.

 

Dr. Ahmed Zewail, a Caltech chemist whose spectroscopic studies of the transition states of chemical reactions earned him the Nobel Prize in 1999, explained in layman’s terms just how hard the discipline of chemistry is, using the periodic table of the elements as a model.

“Take the element of tungsten and work to memorize its place in the periodic table, its atomic symbol, its atomic number and weight, what it looks like, where it’s found, and its uses to humanity, if any,” Zewail said. “Now, imagine memorizing the other 100-plus elements making up the periodic table. You’d have to be, like, some kind of total brain to do that.”

So when things aren’t working out in the lab, just remember, what you’re trying to do is really friggin’ hard. Happy Friday, Newscripts readers!

2 Comments

  • Mar 1st 201310:03
    by Carmen Drahl

    Ha- I was totally ready to comment about this really great Onion article I remembered from college. So there you go.

    Undeterred, I will share my second-favorite Onion science article.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/scientists-ask-congress-to-fund-50-billion-science,2291/

  • Mar 1st 201312:03
    by qvxb

    Ten years earlier, Barbie insightfully noted that “Math class is tough!”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie#Controversies

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