There are a lot of unappealing science jobs out there—carcass cleaner, anal-wart researcher, Kansas biology teacher—and we at Popular Science have written about a lot of them in our annual “Worst Jobs in Science” feature. [Check out last year’s here].
My personal favorite is the ballerina NASA hired last year to help demonstrate the abilities of a remarkable new robotic skin, developed to allow robots to sense the presence of astronauts in space and move out of their way. The only problem is, the demo ‘bot looks a bit, well, phallic.
The space administration apparently thought better of its demonstration methods (the video was taken down from its site not long after our 2005 honors were announced), but luckily, I’ve discovered a reemergence of the seductive duet on YouTube (see below).
It's hard to top, but we’re going to try. Know of someone with an absurd, dangerous, painful, disgusting or otherwise humiliating job? Let us know below in the comments. He or she may even show up in our next installment, coming in spring 2007. —Kalee Thompson
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.