Do you know a thing about orca penises? Do you care? The same questions could have been asked in 2010 about duck penises. No doubt the answers would’ve been the same. We might care if we had a little more knowledge about how much of our tax dollars are being spent to ‘study’ them.
Patricia Brennan is hailed by some as a leading researcher. The woman is obsessed with marine animal genitalia. While a bit odd (to say the least) it’s also mostly harmless until taking into account the fact she’s funding her …quirky… obsession by blowing through taxpayer money.
Currently a visiting lecturer at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, Brennan became somewhat of a poster child for what happens when the government grows unchecked with billions of dollars flowing here, there and everywhere with no one minding the checkbook. She applied for and was awarded a grant in 2009 from the National Science Foundation (potentially on the Trump budget cut chopping block) for a duck penis study. The study was funded with $384,949 of taxpayer money via Obama’s 2009 ‘stimulus package.’ NO pun intended. Seriously. The study looked at the differences in the corkscrew-shaped penises of ducks.
No this isn’t being made up it actually happened. Her study examined differences in the shapes of duck penises. Once word leaked out of the thoroughly ridiculous expenditure, Brennan attempted to justify the study, explaining that she’d discovered male ducks rape female ducks and that both duck vaginas and penises have evolved in response to “sexual conflict.”
“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.”
Nearly four hundred grand on the copulating practices of water fowl. This you cannot make up. Back to the original question — who cares?!
Now Brennan is expanding her fascination with marine animal genitalia to whales and once again wants you to pay for it.
Last week Brennan granted an interview to New England Public Radio and explained how she is looking forward to digging into an orca (aka killer whale) penis that has recently been delivered to her laboratory from Sea World; “Holy cow,” Brennan said when the penis first arrived. “Oh wow. Oh my goodness. It’s enormous!”
Well, what do you expect, lady? Male orcas grow to 30 feet in length and 12,000 pounds.
“Although Brennan has spent 20 years studying the sex organs of marine animals, she’s never seen anything this big,” New England Public Radio reported. “It takes up an entire lab sink.”
Brennan attended one of hundreds of “Earth Day Marches for Science” around the country over the weekend. On Sunday speakers all across the America took to podiums to proclaim the need for ‘science’ – a (not so) veiled way of saying “man-made climate change”, which itself was a new way of saying “climate change”, which was a new way of saying “global warming.”
As the chorus of criticism over the largess of her duck study grant grew louder in 2010 and 2011 Brennan leapt to the “anti-science” card, saying, “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.”
In airing its interview, New England Public Radio explained Brennan is a “basic scientist,” meaning she only observes how things work and is not “necessarily applying that knowledge to a particular problem.”
Research not to solve a problem is fine, but should it be publicly or privately funded? Donald Trump’s budgetary pen may have the last say in that debate.