PUBLIC OPINION > The Sting Scientist Is a Pretty Admirable Guy
SodaHead News 2012/05/31 13:00:00
Entomologist Justin Schmidt has subjected himself to more than 150 differnt types of insect stings in the 1980s and 1990s, enabling him to compare the stings on a relative scale, which he dubbed the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. He sampled everything from the "ephemeral, almost fruity" sting of a sweat bee to the "intense, brilliant pain" of a bullet ant. But what did he gain from the pain? Was it admirable, or insane? We asked the public.
All that work paid off. Not only did he advance research into insect defense systems, but he gave the public a good idea of what to expect from a sting and impressed a lot of people. (It's probably not a bad conversation piece, either.) Although, he's got to be a little bit crazy to put himself through that. The good kind of crazy. For science, not for "Jackass."
The Sting of Youth
The Sting of Youth
Young people were much more likely to express admiration for Schmidt's grand feat, while people over the age of 35 were less impressed. It could be that as people get older and experience more stings, the thought of intentionally subjecting yourself to them loses its appeal. Or it could just be that young people like to hear about people inflicting pain on themselves a la "Jackass."
Parents Aren't Impressed
There was a large gap between respondents who have kids and respondents who don't want kids at all. We suspect this is probably related to the age thing, but it's interesting that parents are less likely to admire the study when Schmidt's scale could be used to gauge the threat of certain insects that might be a threat to their children.
Smokers Shrug It Off
Smokers are always a tough demographic to draw conclusions from, but they were noticeably unimpressed with Schmidt's experiment. Maybe it has something to do with relaxation. Smokers have a chemical drive to relax their nerves with a smoke, and going out of your way to experience pain sounds like the exact opposite of relaxing. Doesn't sound very compatible, when you think about it.
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about Justin Schmidt. We'd love to hear from you!
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