Yesterday, a neuroscience postdoc by the name of Leigh started a hashtag on twitter called #overlyhonestmethods. Then came the confessions.
Have you ever conducted scientific research? Are you familiar with the less-than-glamorous (and sometimes surprisingly slipshod) ways of the world's overworked, underpaid, and severely caffeinated scientists? Then #overlyhonestmethods is probably the funniest thing you'll read today.
Seriously. If you've ever wanted to laugh in amusement/sadness/resignation at something your non-sciencey friends & family will never understand, this is totally your huckleberry. Sort of like PostSecret meets whatshouldwecall[insert terminal degree here]. Just a handful of our recent favorites:
"We sampled opportunistically"=leaned over the side of the ship with a dipnet, pausing to curse my short arms & barf. #overlyhonestmethods— Miriam Goldstein (@MiriamGoldste) January 8, 2013
we did experiment 2 because we didn't know what the fuck to make of experiment 1 #overlyhonestmethods— dr leigh (@dr_leigh) January 7, 2013
We don't know how the results were obtained. The postdoc who did all the work has since left to start a bakery. #overlyhonestmethods— Atif Kukaswadia (@MrEpid) January 8, 2013
Oh, you want an actual method you can follow? Pffft. Check the cover son, you're reading Nature. #overlyhonestmethods— banmans (@banmans) January 8, 2013
Taq was incubated o/n at 20ºC because there were donuts in the break room & I forgot to put it back in the freezer. #overlyhonestmethods— Karen James (@kejames) January 8, 2013
All experimenters — and authors — were blind to the study's hypotheses. #OverlyHonestMethods— Kane_WMC_Lab (@Kane_WMC_Lab) January 8, 2013
we discovered the anxiogenic properties of our new drug accidentally, while trying to fuck with labmate Steve's coffee #overlyhonestmethods— Tal Yarkoni (@talyarkoni) January 8, 2013
We repeated the experiment 5 times but never saw results this good before or since so we made a figure. #overlyhonestmethods— Doctor_Strange (@StrangeSource) January 7, 2013
The first author didn't write this Methods section and doesn't understand half of it. #overlyhonestmethods— Neuroskeptic (@Neuro_Skeptic) January 8, 2013
Though it all sounds tight now, we had no sweet fucking clue what we were doing when this started #overlyhonestmethods— Proflikesubstance (@ProfLikeSubst) January 8, 2013
Our sampling locations happen to match tropical resort towns because field work doesn't have to be mud and agony.#overlyhonestmethods— Alex Wild (@Myrmecos) January 8, 2013
This dye was selected because the bottle was within reach #overlyhonestmethods— Emma (@atomselectrons) January 7, 2013
We wanted to see what would happen if we did X, just for fun. Great explosion! We came up with the hypothesis later. #overlyhonestmethods— Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ) January 8, 2013
Tons more on Twitter. Some other curated tweets available here.