Do we really need to have a lab coat and goggles to be taken seriously?

After the talk from the BBC today, I think back to how Rachel said that they always like to show scientists in their “nature environment” and not just standing in front a screen, as it is more personal. Then I start to think about how scientists are represented in the media in general, every time I read a news article I see a telescope, bacterial cultures and a man in lab coat.

This then reminded me of a story that my friend told me. Her dad, being a scientist for Pharmacology Company, had an interview from the BBC, the man who would normally be in front of a computer and not in a lab had  was dolled up with a white lab coat and specs and put in front of a camera to talk about the effects of some drug.

So I go back to my first question, do we need a lab coat and goggles to be taken seriously, sometimes I feel that yes we do otherwise the general public won’t trust what we are saying. Judging by articles from many media outlets, they think the same too.

But is the public that naive to think that clothing is a real reflection on how trustworthy the source is?

Because let’s face it, if I went around town in a lab coat with a flask telling people I have found a cure for HIV, people would think I was mad.

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