Before any one of you raises the alarms, you should be in the know that before scientists can start whatever madness they are conducting, it’s standard procedure to come up with a risk assessment. Usually to go with our proposals or in my case, to the lab managers in which we will be working our projects at.
It’s basically a whole load of administrative paperwork that’s got to be done in triplicate for “safety” reasons. Since I’m not going to argue about it and it is what I’m supposed to do anyway, I might as well get to it. The thing is, there is this section that we have to fill out. One that says lists the possible accidents that might happen while conducting the experiment. If you ever wondered where scientists get their morbid humour from, you don’t have to look any further. This is what I listed down as mine.
- Accidental microtome cuts, possible loss of appendages and death by excessive bleeding.
- Possible reagent spills and chemical burns through skin contact.
- Electrocution as a result of malfunctioning equipment.
- Fire as a result of malfunctioning equipment. Death due to asphyxiation and burns being trapped in imaging room.
- Severe concussion or death due to slipping and falling.
- Nausea and subsequent claustrophobia after being in the imaging room for too long. Hallucinations and psychoses may result.
Naturally, my experiment isn’t that complex with the amount of things that can go wrong. It’s not like I have the opportunity to list mutations, death by accidental stabbing, death by toxic fumes, frostbites and subsequent loss of appendages. I have seen risks assessments that take the cake. The list goes on really and after a while it becomes a second nature that doesn’t really bother you. Then again, thinking about things like this never bothered me to begin with.
So do I have the mark of a true scientist? I think not. What about a mark of an especially insane scientist? I think you’re starting to see the picture.