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Celebrity Scientist #1: Brian May - Rock Star. Badger Protector.

The Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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Brian May. You may know him as the guitarist from Queen, one of the best-selling bands of all time. England’s badgers know him as their biggest champion.

The British government is expected to issue licenses for farmers to shoot up to 70% of badgers within a 116 square mile area of the country’s Gloucestshire region. The badgers are blamed for spreading tuberculosis among the region’s livestock, costing farmers and taxpayers millions of pounds a year.

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Celebrity Scientist #1:  Brian May - Rock Star. Badger Protector.-brian-may_with_red_special.jpeg
Brian May, Badger Protector

And number twenty-six on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time list is having none of it.

May has vowed to boycott milk “the moment that the first badger is shot,” and he’s raised 100,000 signatures in an e-petition against the cull.

As the old saying goes, never step between an international rock star and his badgers.

May’s offbeat, oddly specific interests are nothing new. When Queen took off in 1972, May was working towards a Ph.D. in physics, studying the light that reflects from interplanetary dust. He left university to focus on his music. But 30 years later, he finished the degree as a multimillionaire rock star in 2008, and went onto become the first astrophysicist to perform with Lady Gaga at the VMA’s.

Still, more than music or physics, May says that it’s his animal activism that he would most like to be remembered for. The badgers of the U.K. can rest easy knowing that Brian May is the champion of their world. And he’ll keep on eating dry cereal – until the end of the badger cull.

Badgers, physics and rock and roll, folks.

Original funding for "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers" was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.