I love science. I am not a scientist, but that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about a life of research and discovery. It seems like a pretty achievable dream too. You start by going to university, investing in a lab coat, working hard and living frugally, before buying your own small volcanic island on which to build your secret base and laboratory. That’s when the decisions start having to be made. Do you go old school defences with piranha and sharks in a moat or do you investigate the joys of genetic engineering and grow yourself a giant security spider?
The really big decision, of course, is do you want to work for the dangerous megalomaniac, or do you want to BE the dangerous megalomaniac? There are advantages to both, if you just work for the DM you have some deniability when their secret spy nemesis catches up with them but really, how likely are you to find the free rein you need in order to truly change the world, when you’re working for a DM with their own agenda?
I know it’s a controversial position but it seems obvious to me that more mad scientists should be their own DMs. Find a good temp agency and pay some other people to take care of hiring your henchmen and sourcing your uranium, leaving you to get on with the important business of creating a virus to wipe out all the arseholes in the world, thus providing Utopia and unlimited resources for the rest of us.
To my mind all science is physics. Biology is squishy physics. Chemistry is fizzy physics. Geology is sloooooooooooow physics and oceanography is wet physics. I get that other people love their own bits of science, sometimes more than just the physics, just like I get that there have to be people who love history in order for us to understand it and not repeat it, but my heart belongs to the future…and physics. (So I wouldn’t create an arsehole destroying virus, I would develop an arsehole targeting laser gun…a BIG one).
What I really love the most about science is that moment when my puny little brain gets it. That burst of understanding, even if it’s only the tiniest part of the science I’m comprehending, is another step forward. Another part of the universe has been revealed to one of its occupants and that piece of knowledge carries me on to the next piece, and the next.
I am not advocating that everyone to go out and buy a lab coat, they simply don’t suit some people, but these joyous brain bursts can be found in other subjects. It’s the brain that creates the bursts, not the social activism or wood whittling or jungle explorations, they are just the triggers, and in order to experience them you have to find what does it for you. But I absolutely believe that the world would be a better place if people occupied themselves with the things they find joy in, rather than trying to police the rest of us as we indulge in ours.