Journalist turns scientists into pin-up men

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. Try this test: Take 12 male scientists out of their lab coats. Place their pictures on a calendar. Display at bookstores. Record any changes in heart rates and cash register receipts.

The ''Studmuffins of Science'' experiment is under way for 1996.

The calendar shows scientists skiing, swimming, lifting weights and in the case of Brown University research scientist Robert Valentini sitting on a bench in a tank top and shorts.

Valentini, 33, who studies techniques for healing damaged tissue, is ''Dr. September.'' Other studmuffins-of-the-month hail from Stanford, Columbia, Cornell, the University of Minnesota and Colorado State University.

New York-based journalist Karen Hopkin, who produces National Public Radio's ''Science Friday,'' recruited the men. She admits she was motivated by self-interest.

''I guess I had the idea for the calendar so that I myself could meet guys,'' the single 32-year-old said. ''Instead, I have this calendar.''

Hopkin sought nominations through a journal of science humor called ''The Annals of Improbable Research'' and a computer service called ProfNet, an electronic bulletin board used by university news bureaus.

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