Scientists, Not People
British kids don’t think scientists are normal human beings:
Around 70% of the 11-15 year olds questioned said they did not picture scientists as “normal young and attractive men and women”.
Among those who said they would not like to be scientists, reasons included: “Because you would constantly be depressed and tired and not have time for family”, and “because they all wear big glasses and white coats and I am female”.
For the record, irritatingly many American adults also don’t seem to think scientists are normal people.
I wanted to know whether lab lit would sell if readers were made aware of it as a genre. To explore this, I performed an experiment with the cooperation of the Gower Street branch of the bookseller Waterstone’s in London.
The display, initially intended to exist for only a few weeks, was ultimately so successful that it was kept up for five months. And for many of the books displayed, sales increased dramatically, even taking into account the likelihood that displayed books will sell better in general anyway.
Or maybe there are just more nerdy quasi-humans out there than we thought.