Anyone who's worked in a lab will know that researchers love a good pun, particularly if it allows them to blend their favourite pop culture references with some serious science. I mean, where else do you think The Big Bang Theory gets the inspiration for its jokes from?
And now some clever soul on Twitter has opened Pandora's science-pun-box after starting the #LOTRyourResearch hashtag, and it's encouraged some of the brightest minds on the Internet to fit their complex research into a Lord of the Rings quote. Suffice it to say, the results have been pretty glorious.
This isn't the first time scientists have given us some amazing hashtags, just think back to #IAmAScientistBecause and #ILookLikeAnEngineer. But even though the content is often funny, what we love the most about these tweets isn't just the humour, it's the insight it provides into the day-to-day lives of scientists, programmers, mathematicians, doctors, and engineers.
And if this latest hashtag is anything to go by, the world of peer-review publishing is a lot more like a medieval war than we realised.
Below are a few of our favourites tweets from the hashtag so far. Warning: if you’re reading them while eating lunch at your desk like we were, there is a slight risk of choking on your falafel. Enjoy safely.
"Naughty little fruitfly, Why does it cry? Caught in a lab And it will soon be... sequenced" #LOTRyourResearch— techrsr (@techrsr) November 25, 2015
There are many theories in this world... Some are greater than mine. And against some, my data have not yet been tested. #LOTRyourResearch— Jennifer L. Hoffman (@astroprofhoff) November 25, 2015
I don't know half of References half as well as I'd like and I like less than half of them half as well as they deserve #LOTRyourResearch— Valeriy Ostapchenko (@Neuroproteins) November 25, 2015
One does not simply switch on a particle accelerator. #LOTRyourResearch— Stephanie N Keyes (@bowskeyes) November 25, 2015
Dawkins used to be a researcher, like you. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to him a Twitter account. #LOTRyourResearch— Jens Foell PhD (@fMRI_guy) November 25, 2015
"You have my data point." "You have my figure legend." "You have my regression line." "And my axes!" #LOTRyourResearch— Jens Foell PhD (@fMRI_guy) November 25, 2015
Tenure is never late, nor is it early, it arrives precisely when it means to. #LOTRyourResearch— TrojanScientist (@TrojanScientist) November 25, 2015
Life in the wide world goes on much as it has these past ages...scarcely aware of the existence of peer reviewed research. #LOTRyourResearch— Madhusudan Katti (@leafwarbler) November 25, 2015
Run the gel, you fools #LOTRyourResearch— Colby Vorland (@nutsci) November 25, 2015