Why do scientists like cooking ?

Lots of scientists I know like to cook. (Not the dutch ones tough, but there is a cultural bias there (;-)))  I always wondered if there was any rational behind that. 

For example :

  • I love to bake stuff, mainly sweet pâtisserie.
  • One of my friend -who will immediately recognize himself- cooked/cooks for hours in the middle of the night when coming home late from the lab.
  • One of my previous PI was an excellent cook who weighted ingredients at +/- 1 gram. And wrote up recipes like science protocols.
  • People like to bring stuff they cooked for coffee breaks in the lab.
  • Every scientist once said “I’d like to take a molecular cuisine course”

Well, I think one of the things that make a great cook is the ability to see what you want at the end and plan the cooking process accordingly. And this is what we  f***** know how to do in labs, no ? (no ?)

And here is the twist … in the lab, our experiments can fail, require optimization(s), etc … Unless you’re doing haute cuisine, cooking does not need this ! A standard recipe has 99% chances to turn out great, or at least decent. You could never say the same for experiments. 

I think this is why scientists like cooking … If you follow the protocol recipe, it generally turns out fine … It’s comforting, reassuring, and satisfying. Mentioning no names …

These are definitely some of the most awesome and nerdy Drosophila cookies I ever saw. They are from this wonderful blog.

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4 thoughts on “Why do scientists like cooking ?

  1. So scientists like to cook because it probably won’t go wrong? Like some kind of escape from the harsh realities of continuously failed experiments. I thought you’d go down the chemistry route! I like this one more though…

  2. I agree! I like to cook because of the satisfying feeling that I actually produced something good! Which I can’t say every day in the lab…

    But ehm.. I’m a Dutch scientist and like to cook! (guess there are exceptions to everything ;))

    • Haha, indeed, some Dutch know and like cooking also. But it’s more the exception then the rule ! (And my point of comparison is the french scientists who are truly obsessed with food ;-))

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