"Why are lab coats so unsexy? And why are they white? …
These are the questions now being posed by cell biologist Dr Jenny Rohn [MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology at UCL], and Wynn Abbott, a biochemistry graduate turned director of science-art agency SciCult.
The pair have turned to the fashion world for an answer, and are running a competition for a design, that makes a lab coat sexy.
“There is absolutely no reason why lab coats have to be shapeless, sexless and colourless,” says Rohn. “Why not black and fitted? White is a disastrous colour for lab work. Every little spill shows. Surely we can do better.” … Judges from the fashion industry, the worlds of science and the media will pick the winner this autumn. Rohn and Abbott are encouraging fashion students as well as established designers to enter."
This reminds me of Dr. Alexis Carrell, nobel prize laureate and the father of cell biology:
" A specialist in the articial propagation of living tissues, Professor Carrell insisted that his lab technicians at the Institute wear black robes and hoods and bow whenever in the presence [of] his favorite icon, a glass-enclosed chicken heart, which Carrel had preserved in vitro for 33 years."
However Dr. Carell was also a pompous asshole who supported eugenic theories:
" Dr. Alexis Carrell, who proposed in his 1935 best-seller, Man, the Unknown, that small euthanasia stations be equipped with suitable gases to "humanely and economically" dispose of the mentally ill and cimrinal class, described as "useless and harmful beings." "
For more on the whole Carell / cell biology history, check out this awesome Radiolab podcast...