by Abhinav Raina – Every profession comes with certain preconceived notions or mental images of what life within these professions would look like or involve. The life of a software engineer, you would expect, would involve multiple monitors with fancy looking code, or a stock broker staring into screens full of red and green while perpetually on the phone.
Likewise, working in science comes with a certain subset of these mental images of what working in a scientific institution looks like. Lab coats, pipettes, boards cramped with equations, white light, symbols indicating radioactivity or toxicity, and, of course, the quintessential microscopes, all contribute to the formation of this iconography of scientific institutions. However, having worked at NCBS for almost a year now, the images that exemplify my time here would lean more towards this wood spider spread across the clearing in the canopies than hazard warnings in artificially lit interiors.
This squirrel that almost seems to be an extension of the tree, the butterfly right out of the cocoon latching on to a shelf in the lab, or Tintin’s dog Snowy in the clouds are all images that are integral to the memories of my time so far in NCBS. In conclusion, the point I’m getting at is that although science itself may require the lab coats, pipettes, microscopes and the like, there is a lot more to scientific institutions as is the case with every other profession.