Posted by: Jeremy Fox | January 19, 2012

Sh*t scientists say

Amusing video here. But it’s mostly not sh*t ecologists or evolutionary biologists say (well, except “stochastic”, “got any virgin flies?”, and “more work is needed”). Feel free to suggest sh*t ecologists or evolutionary biologists say in the comments.

 

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Responses

  1. Our model does a reasonable job of explaining these data.

    • This reminds me of a very funny piece from an old book, The Scientist Speculates. It’s from the 1960s, I think, and it’s a compendium of famous scientists writing up their half-baked, speculative ideas. There’s a whole chapter of ideas about ESP, which was kind of a hot thing back then. IIRC, John Maynard Smith has a piece in the book (not about ESP).

      Anyway, this humorous piece is totally out of place, but it’s funny all the same. It’s a science-plain English dictionary, a table listing common scientific phrases in one column and their English translations in another column. One set of entries has to do with the fit of models to data:

      Scientific phrase:
      “The agreement with the predicted curve is…
      …excellent”
      …good”
      …fair”
      …as good as could be expected given the approximations made in the analysis”

      English translation:
      “The agreement with the predicted curve is…
      …fair”
      …doubtful”
      …non-existent”
      …imaginary”

  2. Hey – I spend a lot of time saying ‘stochastic’ – does that make me a sh*t ecologist? Or is it all the other stuff I do?

    Anyway, how about “Blah bah blah Allee effect increases extinction risk in our population”?

    • No, I interpret “sh*t” here as merely a synonym for “stuff” or “things”. Especially since I say “stochastic” a lot too. 😉

      I’ll see your “Blah blah blah Allee effect increases extinction risk” and raise you “Blah blah biodiversity blah blah ecosystem function blah blah”.

      • Awww nuts. You’re not editing my latest Oikos submission, are you?

      • No, you’re in the clear. 😉

  3. ‎”bilaterally symmetrical cephalocaudal polarization”

    Not ecology, but amusing all the same.

    • Original sentence, from a paper on animal movement patterns:

      “As mentioned above, the original random walk model is too simple to formalize the search paths of animals with sufficient accuracy, because it does not take into account the cephalo-caudal polarization and the bilateral symmetry leading to a tendency to go forward.”


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