So, I don’t consider anyone a real scientist if they haven’t been a test-subject or popularly called “lab rat” at least once in their life. If you do not do it, you are a very bad scientist in my eyes since you don’t gain a very important perspective that will not only give you a chance to feel what your respondents might be feeling but also to remind you of how you should act to ensure those that scarified time, tissues and suffer uncomfort for your work of art! As a “lab rat” you are very vulnerable and often very much in the dark (litterly and figuratively). To know that fear and to have that ability to sacrifice is an admirable quality and one that should not be taken lightly, let’s face it, the reward is not that great. It often consists of some coffee, movie tickets or less than a cost of a lunch. Pharmaceutical studies pay a lot more but they are often a lot more risky.
So, if you are a scientist (or you call yourself that) and you haven’t ever been a test-subject, shame on you! You should know better than that. There are studies for anything these days and I bet you can find at least one that you are qualified for that won’t take up your precious time. I try to give back to my fellow scientists and science at least once a year (more often if eligible for study). A few moments of pain, discomfort and loss of DNA can never weigh up against the feeling of contribution and gained compassion one gets. If anything, you gain respect for yourself, you do not want to spend a life of taking and never give back do you? Find a study outside of your field, or in another institution to ensure removal from own comfort zone and also for ethical reasons. It shouldn’t be that hard.
So, get out there and find a study! No excuses, if everyone had one you wouldn’t have anyone to research on!
A newly probed “lab rat”