I dedicate this blog post to scientists everywhere.

I’m sometimes frustrated by science and scientists. I mean, how long did it take for them to come up with a fibromyalgia diagnosis instead of calling women “hysterical?” (For those of you who don’t know, “hysterical” has its root in certain female organs.) Also, I’d really like some better treatment options for fibromyalgia, or maybe a discovery of the root cause of it. Certainly a cure for bipolar disorder would be nice, or at least a better way to find the right medication than the trial and error method.

At the same time, the fact that we can even consider these things is really incredible. Science (and medicine) doesn’t always work perfectly, but when it does it’s amazing. We can perform open heart surgery, we’ve discovered a cure for leprosy, we’ve eradicated smallpox…not to mention all the other cool things science does.

The scientific process is not necessarily a glamorous one. There’s a lot of that trial and error method I mentioned earlier. Here’s a graphical description of their hard work from the webcomic XKCD.

Science Montage

'The rat's perturbed; it must sense nanobots! Code Gray! We have a helvetica scenario!' (The device in the second panel is a centrifuge, by the way.)

Let’s hear it for scientists!

(For the visually impaired: The comic shows two scenarios. In one, a pair of scientists use fancy equipment to test things on a rat, and use a number of complicated-looking tools such as a blow torch and strange looking tubes. At the end, they say, “Paint flecks from the killer’s clothing match an antigravity factory in Belgrade!” The other responds, “Let’s go!” In the second scenario, two scientists put something in a centrifuge and wait. At the end, they say, “Okay, we’ve determined there’s neither barium nor radium in this sample.” The other responds, “Probably.” I also have a sparkly caption that reads, “Let’s hear it for scientists!”)