A new scientist learns the dark secret behind scientific research
“There is something I need to show you, something no one gets to know until he or she is officially a scientist.”
Jeremy stood outside with Professor Ostrander, looking in awe at the research center, which was bathed in moonlight. “Do you always bring out new researchers in the middle of the night like this?” Jeremy asked.
Ostrander was an elderly, bearded scientist leaning on a wooden cane. He looked back at Jeremy with intelligent eyes, though there was something secretive about them. “Many see our job as shining light on the truth,” Ostrander said, “but some things are still better kept under cover of darkness. Come.”
Ostrander slowly led the way inside the building. After heading through the lobby, he pulled a keycard out of his white lab coat and used it to unlock a door. Inside was all the research equipment that Jeremy had ever dreamed of using. Lasers. Electron microscopes. More test tubes than he could count. “So this is where the research is done? This is where we uncover the truth?”
Ostrander chuckled. “Nothing of consequence is done here.”
Jeremy continued staring at all the research tools. “What do you mean? This is millions of dollars in equipment.”
“Appearances are important,” Ostrander said. “But it is time you learned where true science is done.” Ostrander hobbled over to a glass cabinet with different bottles of chemicals. He opened it up, pulled on a green bottle, and the cabinet slid to the side, revealing a secret passageway. In it, Jeremy could see torches lighting a spiral staircase that twisted downward. Ostrander turned to Jeremy and met his eyes. “I caution you: what you are about to learn cannot be unlearned.” Ostrander headed for the staircase. “The memory-erasing device doesn’t really work very well.”