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“No, we do not do it”: scientists comment on stock photos that do not illustrate their work well

Biologists do not really intend to look at the chickens in the office, geologists do not lie on the ground with stones, and programmers do not bite the keyboard.

Stock photos are sometimes strange. Some of these pictures become memes (like “The Wrong Guy” or “Harold hiding pain”), the ridiculousness of others is laughed at by communities like “Grim Stock Photo”. A separate topic – images on the topic of science, which was dedicated to compilations in thematic blogs in the summer of 2017.

In April 2018, Professor Nicole Paulk of the University of California worked on a presentation for colleagues. She told The Verge that she was trying to find for the slides the most realistic stock photos illustrating her profession. But instead Polk came across a picture of a man who was carefully examining a piece of dry ice.

“No one on this planet, even scientists on dry ice, would have studied it so closely in real life,” she noted. The absurd photo professor published on Twitter.


“This stock photo of the scientist is PRICELESS. I also often realize that I’m inspecting every piece of dry ice. You can not be too careful. “

In the comments to the post, former chemist and scientific blogger Yvette d’Entremont suggested creating a hashtag for such images – #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob ( # BadStockPhotosMyWork ). Soon in social networks there were dozens of examples of ridiculous stock images with explanations from real scientists and doctors.

“Yes, I often stand on the street with an inadequate hand-held telescope, in a bathrobe and goggles, and also constantly pointing at the sky”

“Most of the scientists who study climate are 60 meters tall. And we often send thunderstorms to people who went on a picnic. So I have no problems with this snapshot. ”

“Apparently, I’ve used the wrong methods of plant breeding all these years. I did not inject apple juice (I hope it was him) into the soil and did not drench seedlings in test tubes ”

“We do not try the samples in Petri dishes, but the plants do not germinate from the table”

“There is no chance that a doctor and two nurses will examine one patient”

“I can not speak for everyone, but I’m sure that most certified nutritionists do not make notes about fruits and vegetables in a bathrobe. And with a stethoscope? ”

“I’m a phytopathologist. I will never forget my first diagnosis of the disease. There is something magical about listening to these roots. ”
Some scientists have learned that most of their work according to the version of stock photographers is in close observation of anything.

“What is it, **** [pancake], is that?” One of the key questions of biologists like me, who are trying to recognize colored fluids with the help of gaze ”

“Useful advice on the recognition of minerals. Step one: rub your face about him. Step two: reflect on your future life together ”
Representatives of other professions also joined the scientists.

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