Field of Science

The hotness of being a botanist

Middle aged men who think they are more attractive to women than they actually are may be afflicted by a "hotness delusion syndrome". You think? Firstly, the Phactor is well beyond middle age, and never had any illusions of being "a gift to women." Having spent the last 40+ years working on college campuses, surrounded with young women, it hit me right around the age of 40 that as a sex object the Phactor had become invisible to young women. Curiously, young women pay more attention to me now than then, perhaps a manifestation of the "harmless grandfather syndrome". When you say botanist, the bar isn't set real high on the expectations of being your being hot, especially on the male side because remember as a profession a great many of my colleagues are female, a higher proportion than any other scientific field, and nearly all of them good looking (covering my bases here), especially the lovely Suzanne. Without question though the best looking botanist is a paleobotanist, and he's so good looking you could get a gay flash from his flowing, perfectly-coiffed platinum hair, his Gallic profile, adorned in a cream colored blazer over a plum colored shirt, and so on. He's so perfect he could be a werewolf from London. So with this obvious exception, most of us are geeks, some less, some more. This became quite obvious when after hearing a lecture from a noted science educator who extolled us to make science "cooler", thereby deflating her case because nothing is less cool than saying "cool", to attract more kids into careers in science. Now in high school, how many of the cool kids were actually top achievers in life? Based on my experience, one or two; the rest were a flash in the pan who topped out in grade 12. At the end of the lecture the Phactor asked for a show of hands from those 200-300 people in the audience who were actually "cool" in high school, and exactly one person professed to being cool, and yes, she still exhibits some of those cheerleader hallmarks at times, clearly an exceptional exception, oh, but she married a chemist, a dead geek giveaway. The rest of us were geeks. So in a way you must pity these poor people who were terribly impressed by their own hotness in their youth because it wanes, it lessens, and then what have you got besides some old pictures? This is how formerly hot people get their lives in a mess; they can't face reality. But you take a guy like Al Franken and you can be pretty certain he knows how he looks and figures it's way better to get ahead by being smart and clever than to be a has been high school hunk. So clearly what people should look for in their botanists, in their leaders, in all walks of life, are geeks who know who they are. So everyone can be quite certain that the Phactor has no sleazy phallic photos phloating around on the internet, unless perhaps we be talking about aroids, titan aroids! Talk about hot!


Liz said...

"So clearly what people should look for in their botanists, in their leaders, in all walks of life, are geeks who know who they are."

True that!
I love the fact that when I'm working in the field, it's expected that I'll look "dorky" -- pants tucked into socks, field glasses, and headnet. No fussy boardroom clothes! It's my knowledge that matters -- can I ID the plants and not get lost in the woods? -- that's all that's important.

Benham said...

Wait a minute...go back to the hot paleobotanist!