I hope you understand me

The esteemed cognitive scientist Roger Schank always used the quirkiest examples to describe natural language. The characters of his world (typically John, Mary or Bob) were always shooting up herion or smuggling marijuana across the border. One day, someone at a talk probed him about his choices:

“So Roger, why do you always use such weird and offensive examples in your books?”

“I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.. what examples exactly?”

“John shoots up heroin. Bob strikes Mary. Sally kills her mother… the list is endless!”

“Well, they must be good examples if you can remember them all…”

Members of the Washington University band Science Groove are using a similar technique to preach their research. In their own words, they “have something to prove: science and music can be integrated in a manner that can get right-brained individuals excited about science and shake scientific types out of their left brain and onto the dance floor.”

When I found this page, I lauged endlessly at the silly science lyrics. Afer a few minutes, I found myself humming along. Then it hit me: OMG! I’m singing a research presentation! Here’s a little sample:

The title of my talk is

“Distribution theory

For the sibling recurrence risk ratio.”

My name is Do Peterson.

I hope you understand me

While I explain the recurrence risk ratio.

Now I can’t get the damned Sibling Recurrence Risk Ratio out of my head. I’d love to show up to a talk with the opening line, “I hope no one minds if I bust a flow during my talk this afternoon…” [via b3ta]

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