I have been a reader of Ed Yong’s Not Exactly Rocket Science for a while now, and this page about science journalism served as inspiration for much of Rob’s backstory.

One particular article, however, opened up a whole new perspective on science. Shaving fly penises with lasers? I wasn’t kidding. They did it. I used words from the actual study title.

Future science historians will name this a decade of innovation in penis research. Seriously, it’s insane how many stories about animal penises I’ve come across. Corkscrew airbag duck penises, medieval weapon beetle penises, and prehensile tapir penises. How can scientists be serious about a paper summing up a year’s worth of research then title it “Genital damage, kicking and early death.” (I might have found out if not for Nature’s paywall.) In my opinion they should have gone with “Weevils kick each other in the junk,” for the direct wording. Never write in passive voice.

Let me make one point – I did not looking for this research. IT FOUND ME.

Did I forget to mention the disturbing nature of the videos linked earlier? Now you know why tapirs don’t drive sportscars.

↓ Transcript
CRAIG
This is what a science journalist does all day?
ROB
Yep, just translating big words into english.
Scientists are very good at making their interesting research seem vague and uninteresting.

CRAIG
Give me an example.
ROB
This one is called 'microscale laser effect on intromittent morphology.'

CRAIG
Sounds boring. But is that picture a-

ROB
Penis. They shaved a fly's penis with a laser.

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