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World’s Worst Science Stock Photo Is Selected in Online Vote

By Jessica Stewart for My Modern Met

At their best, stock photos can add to a story or help explain an abstract concept. At their worst, they can look like the bad photos used to sell picture frames in the 1980s. Recently, Dr. Kit Chapman, a lecturer at the University of Falmouth, noted that a lot of stock science imagery fell in the latter category. In fact, it seems like many stock photographers have a hard time conceptualizing what scientists actually do.

So, in the spirit of friendly competition, Dr. Chapman started the unofficial world’s worst science stock photo contest. Competitors included an image of “scientists” in labcoats staring at a chicken, a lingerie-clad woman pouring the contents of a test tube into a beaker, and a PPE-covered man sticking syringes into a raw whole chicken. If these descriptions sound odd, the visuals are even odder.

After several spirited rounds of voting, the field was narrowed to the four worst science stock photos. The grand prize winner—meaning the absolute worst of the bunch—was a photograph of a woman in a lab holding a soldering iron to some electrical components. Nearly 500,000 votes were cast through the initial four rounds of the contest, with many people adding their own terrible stock photo finds to the thread.

So if you are in need of a giggle, and want to know what scientists definitely don’t do in real life, the thread is well worth a scroll.  For more, click here.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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