Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dress like a Scientist Day

Today was "Dress Like a Scientist Day" here in the MPI-CBG. Also known as as genetic engineering inspection by the Saxon Ministry of Environment and Agriculture. We've been getting reminders and warnings for over a week now that today inspectors will be in the building to check that we are meeting safety regulations. So we've had a week to prepare - which means removing coke bottles from lab desks, taking empty beer cases out of cold rooms, buying lab coats so that we can actually wear them while the inspectors are here, closing and locking doors to "Gentechnik Arbeitsbereich S2" rooms that have been open since, well, the last inspection. The fun part is everybody is walking around all day in sterile white full-length lab coats and you feel like you are in the movies. It lasts a whole day. At about 6pm people started opening doors back up, bringing their snacks back to their desks, and removing their labcoats and hanging them back on their hooks, where they will sit until the next inspection (complete with one-week warning) comes around. That we are are told about these inspections in advance of course renders them pointless, and the fact that we ARE told about them must mean that the inspecting agency knows that the regulations are in fact a bit of overkill, and it's all just a big song and dance for the people who don't know how science is done to feel good about health safety and etcetera.

1 comment:

Sabine said...

Not related to security measures, but this reminds me of one of my all time favourite work emails where we have been asked to keep our desks clean in case a member of the external evalution board meeting decides to have a look in the offices...
Or on another occasion where one -übervorsichtiges- member of the administrative staff prepared a presentation with pictures and the official German formal address of a range of important persons coming to visit the institute (in case we run into these politicians somewhere in the building...)
Strange world...