Over at the Sceptical Chymist (link above), Catherine reveals that her niece has a toy pancreas. I kid you not. She’s also tracked down Albert Einstein action dolls, stuffed microbes and Marie Curie finger puppets — and has managed to put forward an impressively plausible hypothesis as to why all these strange playthings exist, if you go to the link above.
These real-world examples of someone’s idea of how to make young people interested in science are beyond irony — what can one dream up that could be more esoteric? A greenhouse gas whoopie cushion? Stem cell stems with origami flower heads? Turkey twizzlers a la Jamie Oliver that turn blue if the strain is H5N1?
No, I don’t think I can beat the concept of the stuffed pancreas. Sounds very comfortable, whether lipase, amylase or Islets of Langerhans. If, however, you do want to encourage a young person to be interested in science, you really don’t need all this. You just need one thing — an explosion.