The 9 types of Science Lover


We all love science, but what kind of Science Lover are we?

(+) Gives Science what it wants
(-) Don’t know how lucky they are

They have the big-money grants, the seductive address line, the Matthew Effect, the blockbuster publications, and the well-appointed lab with all modern conveniences. They love science because they think it’s is a beautiful pursuit and they don’t understand why others are miserable all the time. They have tons of children, who are spoilt rotten and go out into the world with the same preconceptions of apparently effortless wealth and success. They sweep science off its feet…but they don’t know how lucky they are really. Their lives have been easy. Effortless, suave, accomplished, and with loads of money. 

(+) Knows how to do it properly
(-) Lower prospects

Blue collar royalty. The people doing it the hard way. They’re there at the coal face, in the garage, all filthy in their overalls. They do good work under difficult conditions, and carry most of the responsibility for teaching and training. They’ve been stripped of any artifice or illusion, they have great practical skills, and they still love science but are wise to its flaws too. They have fewer children, but invest a lot in them and they generally turn out well.

(+) Powerful, charismatic
(-) Heartless, faithless

They’re there for the conquest. They want power, prestige, riches, and not to have to pay attention to the day-to-day, and science is their key. They’re never at the bench, and don’t miss it. They sit on loads of boards and committees and advisory bodies, and dream of running their own research institute. They take from science what they need, and their actual research is done by underlings. They have loads of offspring, which they largely neglect and sometimes bully. Do they really love science, or do they actually love themselves?

(+) Exhilarating
(-)  Exhausting

Like a piston, they just never stop. They love science with a passion, and they keep going hour after hour, all day, all night, until people beg them to take a break. Always on Twitter, relentlessly enthusiastic, and prone to emailing with new ideas in the middle of the night. Their energy is limitless, they’re always up for trying new things, and they never relax. It’s a wild ride, but can be hard to keep up with them. Multiple steam trains going at it together produce orgiastic conditions which can make others doubt how committed to science they really are.


(+) Exciting and kinky
(-) Capricious and superficial

They love science, and they’ve been in love with it long enough to get bored of doing things conventionally and they prefer the rush of new partners and new approaches. Tend to be a bit older and more experienced, often promiscuous, and prone to discard new playmates when they tire of them (which is often). Can get addicted to chasing quick fixes, leaping on bandwagons, and other reputationally risky behaviour. Often well-heeled, as their relentlessly innovative stance is a money-spinner and lets them invest in yet more costumes for yet more interdisciplinary projects.

(+) Dreamy and chilled
(-) Aimless

They think they’re in love with science, but they’re not really. They’re in love with the idea perhaps, but they don’t really know what they want and have stuck around because they haven’t thought things through yet. Abstracted and whimsical. They don’t undergo the existential torments that others do, and maintain an even emotional keel for much of the time. Tend to eventually find a stable niche for themselves, but somehow there’s always the nagging sense that they either could have done more, or weren’t ever that interested.

(+) Purity in pain
(-) Squalor, suffering, degradation

The science they worship is unfaithful and cruel, but still they persist in their adoration. Their self-esteem is shot, their career prospects are in tatters, their funding always threadbare, and their chances of a permanent position dwindling by the month. But they endure. They may love science more than any of the others, because they put up with the most abuse and still never walk away. They insist that science can change, can be a better place, and there’s something saintly in their suffering. Why do they put themselves through it? Why not leave? Are they secretly attached to the squalor of it all, with their present state confirming some deeply-held feelings of personal inadequacy? Most get broken and cast aside.

(+) Very good with their hands
(-) Not always respected, and sometimes used

A bit of rough. They love science in its technical guide, and are privy to arcane knowledge which can bring others to the heights of rapture, while they themselves are content with servicing a stream of satisfied customers. The science they love is intricate, expensive, and often skittish, but they have a magic way of taming the most recalcitrant machinery and making it sing. Over-represented in core facilities. They’re viewed with a bit of disdain by Seducers, who disparage the apparent lack of ambition and often try to exploit them.

(+) Enthusiastic
(-) Inexperienced

 They love science, but they don’t know how to do it yet. They’re the youngest and least experienced Science lovers, and benefit from being around a more experienced tutor. Prone to finishing off too quickly unless they’re shown how, and can sometimes suffer from a lack of confidence as their passion collides headlong with their lack of practice.

Did you like this posting? If so, maybe check out some of our other #9types postings:
The 9 types of peer reviewer
The 9 types of academic authors
The 9 types of grant reviewer
…and of course, don’t forget the original 9types series from the Dent cartoons at NIH in the 90s (which remain to this day a huge influence on this blog).

This posting suggested by Andreas Hartig, although his more romantic conception has been perverted somewhat by my filthy mind 😉



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