Millennium: There's a certain myth of a "pure" scientist out there: someone for whom the pursuit of scientific knowledge, not necessarily to do anything with it but simply to know, is life's highest and ultimate calling, to be pursued with quasi-monastic zeal. This myth is what institutions like the ones mentioned in TFA are pursuing.
RexTalionis: I have a friend who is a marine biology PhD candidate whose hobby is apparently taking risque pictures of herself.
Z-clipped: As someone with widely varied interests contemplating grad school for Physics while trying to knock my wife up, I am not getting a kick out of these replies.
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