All great truths begin as blasphemies: In Defense of "Silly" Research

"Research is intended to solve life's mysteries."

This statement may suggest that research is a serious business, and it generally is, but many discoveries researchers make are somewhat silly.  Research like "Pressures produced when penguins pooh—calculations on avian defaecation" (Meyer-Rochow 2003) or the "Shrimp Fight Club" actually entitled "Contests with deadly weapons: telson sparring in mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda)" (Green 2015).   Such research has come under attack from many in congress, calling it "wasteful."  In fact, Senator Jeff Flake assembled what he calls a "wastebook" mocking the work of researchers he deemed to be a waste of time and money.