He wears a white coat

I look the same now as I did when I waded through a mangrove swamp holding scientific equipment above the tide water at 6am.

I look the same now as I did sitting among the piles of journal articles struggling over the right words to use so that reviewers might understand what I have come to know.

I look the same now as I did when I was crunching through datasets, turning columns of numbers into visual relationships with meaning.

I look the same now as I did when I would sit for days in a dark room peering at cells frozen instantaneously in time but visible now as structures the size of my face on the screen.

I look the same now as I did when I was wearing a white coat and gloves. In a laboratory.

Or tights and a red dress. Giving a presentation.

Or salt encrusted cargo pants and dive boots. In the field.

Or jeans and chucks. At my computer.

Or wearing a bright purple Questacon shirt. In front of students at a primary school in Orange, NSW.

‘What does a scientist look like?’ I asked.

‘He wears a white coat,’ a bright-eyed child responded.

‘Do I look like a scientist?’ I asked.

‘No!’ came the united reply.

 

Image: Amy via Flickr

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