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The genius of bee stings

April 7, 2014

BeeStingPainMapMichael Smith, a graduate student at Cornell studying the behavior of honey bees, noticed that there was no good information on sting pain, relative to sting location on the body. He decided to study this methodically, using himself as a test subject:

He administered five stings a day, always between 9am and 10am, and always starting and ending with “test stings” on his forearm to calibrate the ratings. He kept this up for 38 days, stinging himself three times each on 25 different body parts.

No doubt, the resulting paper will be referenced almost entirely in the popular press, rather than in scholarly citation. But… this was pure genius. When Smith later has graduate students of his own, his reputation will precede him, and none but the most dedicated will want to study under him!

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