Most Dangerous Science Jobs

Forget toiling in a lab coat—only mad scientists need apply

By Heather McPherson,  Newser User

Posted Aug 10, 2007 2:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – Science isn't just lab rats and microscopes—how does flying into hurricanes grab you? The most hazardous occupations for you biology, chemistry, and physics nerds:

  1. Astronaut: 24 US deaths since 1961.
  2. Biosafety lab researcher: Handle earth's deadliest diseases.
  3. Hurricane hunter: Fly into tempests to gauge pressure and wind speed.


  1. Mobile lab tech: Infectious diseases in Darfur. Fun!
  2. Propulsion engineer: Test rockets, and explosions are least of your concerns.
  3. Grad student:  Everything's dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.
  4. Volcanologist: 8 killed since 1991.
  5. Biologist: Researcher died of herpes after monkey goo got in her eye.

OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO-- NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Rita taken at 2:15 p.m. EDT on September 23, 2005, as the outer bands of the Category Three storm lash Gulf Coast regions.
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO-- NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Rita taken at 2:15 p.m. EDT on September 23, 2005, as the outer bands of the Category Three storm lash Gulf Coast regions.   (KRT Photos)
In this photo provided by NASA, space shuttle Atlantis astronaut Patrick Forrester participates in the mission's fourth and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA), as construction continues on the international space station, Sunday June 17, 2007. (AP Photo/NASA)
In this photo provided by NASA, space shuttle Atlantis astronaut Patrick Forrester participates in the mission's fourth and final session of extravehicular activity (EVA), as construction continues on...   (Associated Press)
Volcanic materials spews out of the crater of Mount Gamkonora as it erupts in this photo taken on Monday, July 9, 2007 on Halmahera island in Indonesia. Thousands of people were evacuated from the slopes of the volcano in eastern Indonesia after it spewed hot clouds of smoke, ash and...
Volcanic materials spews out of the crater of Mount Gamkonora as it erupts in this photo taken on Monday, July 9, 2007 on Halmahera island in Indonesia. Thousands of people were evacuated from the slopes...   (Associated Press)
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