Sigh-tech: the sad fate of Australian scientists

Revealed: Scitech staff so underpaid many are turning to selling science on the street to get by

Colin Ebsworth
August 6, 2017

Kevin Martin (28) lurks behind a dumpster in East Perth just after midnight awaiting his first customer of the evening. His white labcoat now stained after a series of nights living here on a mattress made of stolen foam, his name tag barely spelling “scitech explorer”.

“Look the recession has affected us all, and not unlike the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, science too has taken a similar hit,” Martin commented.

mad scientist

He’s just one of many Sci-tech employees that has been forced to sell science on the streets just to get by and in one night he may perform as many as 20 “tricks”.

“Usually it’s just older men looking for comfort, you know? Making them feel wanted. Guys who just want to blow a load of baking soda and vinegar out of a paper maché volcano. Sometimes I’ll explain inertia by spinning them in an office chair holding weights close and far away to them or just point out constellations. To be honest, most just like the rush of learning something without it being yelled at them by their wives, he added.

With no sight in end for the current recession it’s likely more and more staff will turn to this life with the added influx of climate scientists now being made redundant by the government only adding to the problem.

“My mother was right, there’s no money in science. It’s a useless pursuit and the government is right to not support it,” he said before using a smart phone to connect to a satellite to summon a hybrid car to Uber to his parents house.

Colin Ebsworth

Colin is a Perth based comedian who started performing standup eight years ago and has been making people laugh for three. He's been described as one of the most prolific young comics in the state and a "real sweetheart" by over 80% of mother's polled. When he's not writing jokes he's wondering what Kanye is doing and praying he finds some measure of happiness in his endeavours.