scientists on tumblr

Tumblr’s starting to develop this really disturbing habit of calling anyone who screws up in an interpersonal relationship “abusive.”

Which. No. No, guys, that word means something very important, especially in the context of friends, lovers, and family. It describes deliberate actions taken to control the behavior of another, not the occasional emotional screw-up or unconscious personality flaw.

Please stop using it to mean, “character who did things I disagree with.” That’s bad of you.

Do you wanna build a phylogram?
  • Do you wanna build a phylogram?
  • Mark Scherz

A scientific parody of Do you wanna build a snowman? from Disney’s Frozen. Lyrics by hyacynthus and myself. Vocals by me. A music video may be forthcoming.

Guys. Guys. It has come to my attention that not everyone in science tumblr knows about ResearchGate. This… this must change.

You know ResearchGate is the professional academic’s version of It’s a bit like someone sifted out only the good parts of LinkedIn and, and distilled it into the ideal science social network.

ResearchGate allows you to upload your own papers (and tells you whether or not it is legal to do so), access the papers other researchers have uploaded, request papers from other researchers if they haven’t uploaded them (saving you agonising and awkward emails!), keeps track of your overall impact factor (basically the sum of all of your publication impact factors) as well as a ResearchGate score that is somewhat more comprehensive, and even how often people are viewing and downloading your publications, allows your colleagues to endorse you for various skills, and so on and so forth!

One of the best features is that you can ask academic questions, like “How do I deal with multiple markers with the same location value (in cM) in a QTL analysis?”, and then researchers who have experience or knowledge can come along and provide answers. This is particularly good when you are struggling with methodologies for which no good publications really exist, just loads of people with cumulative years of lab experience. By asking and answering you can increase your RG score.

No, they’re not paying me to say this. I fell in love with ResearchGate as soon as I started using it. I genuinely believe this is one of the most valuable websites any academic can have access to right now, and so many people are missing out on it. So I heartily encourage you to sign up!

(Note: you can only sign up if you have an academic email account. You can connect it to facebook later to log in more easily, but they want to know you’re a real researcher. You can request an account without an academic email, but you might not get it)


Harvard University and XVIVO have released this video of the inner workings of a cell. This is the most detailed and accurate depiction of proteins inside a cell that’s ever been made. Amazing stuff. Love seeing the jittery movements. These are slowed down so we can see what’s going on. 

“Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me. Oh and I rush to the start. Running in circles, chasing our tails, coming back as we are. Nobody said it was easy, it’s such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be so hard…I’m going back to the start.”

The Scientist - Coldplay

When I first listened to Condos I fell in love with this monologue. I loved the words, the delivery, everything. It’s perfectly imperfect. So I made a door poster thingy - obviously not for sale or anything, just an experiment in designing something fueled by my love of Carlos the Scientist and this podcast.

Carlos (EP 60 MP3)
  • Carlos (EP 60 MP3)
  • Cecil Gershwin Palmer


Updated and reworked as of 1.23.2015, Episode 60: Water Failure.

I went back through and fixed some of the strange gaps (due to poor editing on my part), and added in episodes 56 - 60. 

Welcome to Nightvale is a production of Commonplace Books, and it is written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. I simply compiled this together. 

Thanks to cecilspeaks for their super-helpful transcripts.