Some science humour

I’ve not been able to update this blog for a while and now I’ve only got a short session in the library, so I thought I’d begin with something I can post quickly. Here are some science-related pages which I think are quite fun…


  • How to Write a Scientific Paper: very funny article by E Robert Schulman in The Annals of Improbable Research, 1996. Possibly explains why so many papers read the way they do… and practises all its advice on the spot. [Note: I successfully accessed this the other day, but at the time of writing it is for some reason unavailable. I hope it comes back, because it really is brilliant!)

Apples and Oranges

In arguments, it’s traditional to accuse someone of “comparing apples with oranges”, as though it were impossible. A few scientists have pointed out that it’s actually quite easy to compare apples with oranges, and even written papers on it:

  • Apples and Oranges: A Comparison: Short article by Scott A Sandford, originally published in The Annals of Improbable Research, 1995.
  • Comparing apples and oranges: a randomised prospective study: A more impressively written up paper by James E Barone in the British Medical Journal, 2000. However, the claim to have analysed results using FudgeStat software from “Hypercrunch Corporation” raises my suspicions that the research may not be entirely authentic.

Well I’m out of time already, so the rest will have to follow, along with various other things I have in the pipeline…

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