Elizabeth Harrington reports for Washington Free Beacon that among the protesters at the “March for Science” on Earth Day, April 22, 2017, against the Trump administration’s budget cuts was Patricia Brennan, a visiting lecturer of biological sciences at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and a native of Columbia.
Brennan has a vested interest in taxpayers’ largesse as she is a leading researcher of a taxpayer-funded duck penis study that received $384,949 from the National Science Foundation. The grant was funded through the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package. The study looked at the differences in the corkscrew-shaped penises of ducks.
A recent interview with New England Public Radio revealed that Brennan is still fascinated by the genitalia of marine animals. She is now using her expertise on the penises of orca whales.
When an orca whale penis recently was delivered from Sea World to her lab, Brennan exclaimed, “Holy cow. Oh wow. Oh my goodness. It’s enormous! So this is the tip right there. It’s not super long, it’s just wide.”
New England Public Radio reported that “Although Brennan has spent 20 years studying the sex organs of marine animals, she’s never seen anything this big. It takes up an entire lab sink.”
In the face of a national debt of $20 trillion, President Trump wants to cut funding for frivolous research, among other cuts. Trump’s budget blueprint would leave the National Institutes of Health with $25.9 billion, but makes no mention of the National Science Foundation that currently gets about $7 billion annually.
Since taxpayers were informed about how much her duck penis study cost, Brennan has become a “sought-after science activist,” giving lectures on how scientists can defend their research.
Brennan said of news outlets reporting the nearly $390k grant for her duck penis study, “They were attacking everything. They were attacking the science itself, like, ‘what a waste of money.’ They were attacking me, as a person, like, I must be some kind of deviant to be looking at penises. Like, who does that?”
In a self-righteous article in Slate, Brennan justified her $390k duck penis study by its important, earth-shaking findings that:
- Male ducks rape female ducks. (It doesn’t take a $390k study to know this. Anyone who lives near a lake, as I did, would have seen female ducks being gang-raped by males in springtime.)
- Both the vaginas and penises of ducks have evolved in response to “sexual conflict”. As Brennan puts it, with barely suppressed outrage: “Males have counterclockwise spiraling penises, while females have clockwise spiraling vaginas and blind pockets that prevent full eversion of the male penis. Male ducks force copulations on females, and males and females are engaged in a genital arms race with surprising consequences. Male competition is a driving force behind these male traits that can be harmful to females.”
New England Public Radio calls Brennan a “basic scientist,” meaning she only observes how things work and is not “necessarily applying that knowledge to a particular problem.” In other words, there is no particular reason why she studies duck and orca whale penises. In Brennan’s words, “Just the fact that we just don’t know what we’re going to find is so exciting.”
Why, like, already beleaguered taxpayers must, like, fund her, like, “basic” pointless research on, like, marine animal penises is, like, not her concern.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds