I am what you’d call a nerd. Dork. Geek. Choose your own description, and we’ll work from there. Science, as a general study, is cool. Wait…no, its fucking awesome. Space, life, animal behavior, genes, sociology. All of it. I love it. You used to love it too, I promise. I’ll prove it to you, rather, your childhood self. Remember all of those incredible toys and gadgets that sprinkled the floor on Christmas morning? Silly putty, scientist kits, anything glow-in-the-dark, Creepy Crawlers Maker. I, and you I bet, would anticipate for weeks, months even, waiting for the new toy or kit that would let you pretend that for a few hours, you’re a scientist, an inventor, a creator. But somewhere along the way, maybe in middle school, when you were bullied, you lost this scientific love. Or perhaps it was from your first crush, the blonde girl sitting in the desk next to yours giggled and pointed when you responded, “Science!” to the teacher who asked you what your favorite subject was.
Whenever it was and whatever the cause, you lost that wonder you once held for science. The only difference between you are me is that I never did.
Another thing I’d like to get straight: I am not a Trekkie, Star Warrior, nor a Dungeons and Dragons Master. The media-saturated side of science is not the side I associate with. The creation of new worlds, the prediction of future inventions and technologies, the adventures of archetypal heroes with young, curvy lady subordinates is not my cup of tea. I care little for the imagination of our world and space, but care immensely for the evaluation and discovery of the experience we share; Earth within the Milky Way Galaxy. I have faith in what we know. In what we can prove. In what we can conceive.
You should also know that I am not a scientist. Though, through unwavering faith and interest in science, I have been and always will be a nerd.
This is a fact. I am a nerd. It’s indisputable and evidence-backed. You can ask my best friend, Ray, who has been my buddy since we were five years old. Or my Mom, my Dad. You could ask my teachers, my peers throughout elementary and secondary school. You could ask my college drinking buddies, that nameless one-night stand, my professors. You could ask my coworkers, my supervisor. My ex-girlfriend. That’s at least 50 personal narratives who can vow for this fact. I even have printed and certified evidence. The three published papers from DUSJ (Dartmouth U. Science Journal) and CUSJ (Columbia U. Science of Journal). The eight certificates of academic excellence, the seven golden pins. The sash and braided rope colored purple and gold, the entire collection of Planet Earth on DVD. The subscription to every TEDTalk podcast under the “science” category ever made. I have gathered a lifetime of evidence, 25 years of evidence backing my argument. I have gathered and maintained this so that you may properly understand what I am.
One last thing you should know. What I am, backed by years of evidence, is not what I consider myself to be. This has put a major strain on mine and science’s relationship.