Elizabeth Harrington of the Washington Free Beacon offers an amusing account of her recent trek to a high-dollar “science fair.”

It was a strange feeling being notorious in a roomful of government-funded scientists, about a fourth of whom were subjects of my reporting that highlighted the questionable expenditures their research represented.

I was greeted immediately by Pat Kobor of the American Psychological Association, which helped organize the event on Capitol Hill Wednesday evening: “‘Wasteful’ Research? Looking Beyond the Abstract.”

“Oh, we’re so glad you’re here!” she said. “That you’re willing to listen.”

The reception seemed like an indictment of the numerous Free Beacon reports on wasteful spending on behavioral science studies from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. For the next hour, I would come face to face with the well-meaning researchers who wanted to “contextualize” their studies on why fat girls can’t find dates, or how a text message can help a drunk at the bar.

But my 15 minutes soon dissipated.

“So you’re famous,” said a reporter from the Huffington Post. “You’re the shrimp-on-a-treadmill guy.”

David Scholnick stood near his display of, yes, that shrimp, famously exposed in former Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R., Okla.) 2011 Wastebook. But Scholnick wouldn’t have any of it.

“It’s more famous, way more famous than me,” he said of the crustacean, as a woman chomped down on a tasty-looking shrimp next to me. “I’m just a guy. It’s like, what do they call it in Hollywood? The talent. That’s the talent.”

Scholnick was among the dozen of Ph.D.s there to defend their work that has been labeled a waste of taxpayer funding by the likes of media outlets like the Free Beacon and oversight hawks in Congress such as Coburn and Sen. Jeff Flake (R. Ariz.).

At the time the shrimp treadmill study was revealed, he had received $559,681 from the National Science Foundation for a study that marked “the first time that shrimp have been exercised on a treadmill.”