Lab Notes: Rapid advancements in ophthalmology have almost obliterated thick,black, plastic glasses with coke bottle lenses—once synonymous with intelligence and science. Contact lens became a viable alternative to glasses in the mid 20th century and with the advent of soft contact lens in the 1970s, glasses became even more passé. Lasik surgery dealt another deathblow to eye glasses. The pendulum has swung the other way and now spectacles are considered a fashion accessory or, in some cases, an affectation.
Testing: We placed a bogus Help Wanted ad on Craigs List for rocket scientists to oversee Connecticut’s Nuclear Proliferation program. A carefully selected panel of eight headhunters reviewed 10 scientists’ resumes with pictures attached, and asked them to rate the prospects in order of “likely to be hired”. Five of the photographs showed applicants with thick-rimmed glasses; five showed those same people without glasses but with a few minor changes to clothing and hairstyle. All had nearly identical qualifications. Shockingly, the first five applicants in all 8 headhunter’s opinions were the bespectacled folks. One was a nearsighted chimpanzee!
Conclusions: Glasses with thick lens make one look smarter and can be more valuable than a fancy degree from a Respected University when trying to land a job. Nearly all Mirth in a Box employees require some sort of vision assistance and those that don’t, fake it. (Hence the massive outpouring of intriguing and successful scientific data!)