Culture, General, Science, etc.

Overly honest scientists

Ahhhh, scientists.  As I’ve mentioned before, they can, indeed, actually be amusing.

Shock, horror, etc… /waits for people to get back onto their chairs

Right, so, just quickly, two amusing topics from the last few days, both on the subject of being, well, overly honest.


overly honest cover letter

‘Tis a busy time of year for some, as people start to switch, or consider switching, jobs and/or careers. And so, from the Kiwihorizons blog, comes this impassioned cover letter asking for [x] scientific position in a new lab.

that time of career again

Dear prof so and so,
Through some obscure mailing list I found this position at your new lab. Because I will soon become unemployed, although not bored, and I work on exciting stuff just like yours, but slightly different, I will be the perfect fit for this position. Allow me to explain.
I have worked on a lot of different projects, but all were high profile and super relevant. I have done experiments at nanometer scale, but I know how to upscale to global and universal perspectives. For instance, my latest paper deals with why everyone has always been wrong in this field. Currently I am preparing many manuscripts on why my experiment was perfect.
I also did a lot of teaching. I had the student from hell, so I am fully prepared to lecture and supervise other hard cases. My solution to problematic students is to yell at them and cry in exasperation and give them more and more boring little tasks. I believe especially field-based learning is very important, and I have a proven track record of exhausting and exasperating students under abysmal climatic conditions. Please refer to my blog on that matter.
To summarize, my interdisciplinary approach and experience in cutting edge technologies will allow me to totally change the environment of your lab. Furthermore I am a pleasant person to work with because I bake lots of cake to share. If you invite me for an interview I will bring my famous chocolate geological layer cake.
Dr. Nina

Superb stuff, and, as is the way of such things, true enough to be very, very funny.

Thanks to @enniscath for sharing this one :)



Yep, if you follow sciencey people on Twitter, you will have come across this. Hell, even the Telegraph has reported on it by now, but just in case :)

A scant week ago, a neuroscience postdoc by the name of Leigh put out a tweet with the hashtag #overlyhonestmethods.

the tweet which started it all

And then the internet (well, a small bit of it) exploded. Scientists began to make confession after confession*. Some, you’d probably need to have had some experience in a lab to understand. Some not. They’ll make you cry, laugh, feel resigned, or go get another coffee and realise you’re not going to get anything else today.

Go on, read ‘em :)

I’ve put a small selection below, and io9 also made the best collection of them I’ve seen yet.

Have fun!


UPDATE: See #overlyhonestreviews for even more fact-based scientific hilarity (thanks for the heads-up, @TheAtavism!)


* Remember PostSecret? Like that, but way nerdier.