Scientists, no more excuses! medical imagesSo, 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”



  1. I assume that most people who volunteer for these studies do so because they need (or just really want) the money. I also assume most scientists are paid pretty well and don’t need the money. So, why take the opportunity away from someone who actually wants it?

    Now, of course that argument only matters if there aren’t enough lab rat positions to go around, so moving on…

    With most of these experiments there is some sort of risk to the lab rat. I’d prefer if we didn’t subject our best and brightest minds to these sorts of things. This might come across as elitist, but let’s keep in mind that the tests are all voluntary, we’re not rounding up people and forcing them into experiments. Still, I’d rather experiment on Joe the Easily Replaced Plumber instead of Joe the Inventor of Photography (Joseph Niepce).

    Finally, if scientists are routinely signing up for experiments, they’re going to start encountering moral hazards. Giving a bad review of one scientist’s drug might encourage that one to sign up for your next experiment and do the same.

    And really, what do you mean they would live a life of taking and not giving back? If you develop the cure for cancer but never gave a blood sample, all you did was take? Bullshit, you gave back for more than anyone who eats a pill, pees in a cup and collects their two tickets to Monsters v. Aliens.

  2. Does it count if you are a lab rat for food studies? 😉 Eight weeks done, two to go =)

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