I Am A Mad Scientist, And I Am Begging You To Just Trust Scientists

I have a white coat and a closet filled with toxic chemicals, that’s why.

Michael Pershan
Slackjaw
Published in
3 min readDec 14, 2021

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Photo: Kindel Media

Science has given the world so many wonderful gifts, but sadly not everyone trusts it as fervently as they should. As a scientist who has seen his own share of controversy, I feel compelled to spread a simple message: give us 100% of your trust! You won’t regret it.

By now, the anti-science playbook is all-too familiar. Activists come for our reputations, calling us “mad,” or “twisted,” or “genuinely and truly evil.” They pass laws that restrict our access to conjoined twins. Then, worst of all, they go after our funding. But you can’t take my money away, it’s in escrow in Belgium, assholes!

Why trust science? It comes down to a choice. Do you believe some guy who tells a nice story, even if he has no evidence? Or do you believe the guy that performed the first successful ass transplant on an alpaca? What if I told you it was that first guy’s ass and my alpaca?

An alternative answer to the question — why trust science? — is that you have no choice, because I am running an experiment using the city’s water supply, and only I have the antidote.

The linchpin of the scientific process is the experiment. If an experiment can’t support an idea, we reject it. For example, my group recently injected a dozen people with rabies, to see what happens when you inject people with rabies. Good news: because it’s science, we didn’t have to ask for consent.

When I talk with skeptical audiences, I like to point out all the ways technology has improved our lives. Reach into your pocket, I’ll tell them. What do you find? That’s right: drugs. In your other pocket you’ll find your phone, a technology that has permanently changed the way we are able to order things, such as drugs. Thanks to recent developments, science may soon provide us with even more powerful drugs that are even easier to order. And now let us all say it together, “Thank you, science.”

Do scientists ever make mistakes? Of course we do. Though it depends what you consider a “mistake.” Back when I was a university professor, I dated undergraduates and was fired by the dean for misconduct. Soon after, I invented a small device that could be quietly implanted in the neck of a university dean and track them from a distance. Was that a mistake, an opportunity, or a “mistake-tunity?”

So, should we trust science? In my view, that’s the wrong question to ask. Let me encourage you instead to look at this device. That’s right, it is spinning. Round and round it goes… ah, yes, you are getting sleepy. Do you want to lie down? Come, follow me, into the laboratory. There’s a nice bed waiting for you there, just past the well-assed alpacas. Just close your eyes and relax because we’re going to be here for a while. It’s science time.

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