An expert that knows
everything about science.
Bright lab coats
pristine and immaculate
as the biologist who wear them,
untouched by the stains
of reagents and failures.
Confident smiles and pithy slides
explaining data laid out on sleek PowerPoints
the presentations as impeccable
as the researchers who talk through them,
filled with knowledge and answers.
Poised and unflappable,
able to answer any question
at the drop of a hat
or the raising of a hand
or the tag of a friend online.
Publications and scientific meetings
to showcase research and progress
and academic advancement
and the ability to display the one thing
that matters: your ability to achieve.
Hiding the hours of failure and frustration:
angry tears spilled over empty gels,
question marks carved next to figure keys,
meetings with advisors that end
in confusion and self-loathing.
Scientists only share the beautiful:
the flamboyant colors,
and endearing creatures,
and fascinating behaviors.
The things that want to be seen.
Because only a scientist
needs to see the dark nights alone,
the liquor used to numb the pain,
the panic attacks that feel as if
you may drown in incompetence.
Science needs to be beautiful
to fill people with awe and wonder
and glorious fascination with the unknown,
because it's easier to test hypotheses
than wrestle with demons lurking in the dark.