A Rant From a Scientist

Normally random things on the internet don’t bother me. And the Google daily doodles are usually pretty inoffensive. But today’s does.

Now let me be clear, I have nothing against their choice. Lucy Wills did marvelous research, and is the reason pregnant women take folic acid. She is fully worthy of all the praise that Google wanted to give her.

No, my beef is with the cartoonist. Since I don’t want to risk Google’s ire, I won’t show the cartoon, but here is a brief description. A woman scientist is shown, surrounded with the stereotypical trappings, i.e. a microscope, a rack of test tubes, a white coat. She is holding up a jar of jam or jelly and is giving it a thoughtful look, obviously representing her making the link between pregnancy complications and nutrition.

And what is in the middle of all this? A cup of coffee/tea, and a saucer with a slice of toast with the same jelly on it. A real scientist will tell you that you *never* have food around your work. At best you risk contaminating your work, at worst you could poison yourself. A brilliant woman like Dr. Wills would never follow such sloppy and dangerous procedures.

This was originally posted on my old blog, Middle Class Poor.

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