At the Institute for Geophysics (my workplace), we have a tradition of weekly Brown Bag talks and I volunteered to host the seminar this year:
The UTIG Brown Bags are informal talks at noon each Wednesday at the Seminar Conference Room and they are a platform for faculty, scientists and students alike to update everyone on their current research and associated research activities (field work, workshops etc.) Though the talks convey scientific results and generate discussion amongst colleagues, they can (note: not must) be light-hearted and fun in nature. A few examples of past talk titles:
- Has it Ever Rained Cats and Dogs in a Climate Model?
- Will Work For Food, Fuel, and a Groomed Ski-way: ICECAP Season 1
- Spring in Greenland: How I learned to stop worrying and love global warming
- Scenery and Tectonics of Spain
- Moonquakes: Who said the moon was dead?
- Tales from the western tropical Pacific: Search for the "Golden" Samples
- One Rock to Change the World: The Story of the Chicxulub Impact Crater
This year, in order to make the Brown Bags a little more fun, I decided to include a section (haphazardly named after this and especially this) entitled Academia Bizarro. So, what is it you ask? Well, I consider anything that falls under or in between the following brackets to qualify:
- Scientifically outdated articles
- Historically relevant research
- Controversial science
- Witty/sarcastic literature (see also: this)
- Plain bizarre science
|Research on the fluid dynamics of penguin pooh? |
Definitely Academia Bizarro material!
In essence, I propose to have a 1-2min segment before each Brown Bag talk presenting a paper/research which falls under the Academia Bizarro umbrella (preferably geoscience based and related to the talk, of course). I will archive the material as the talks go on and ultimately, I hope to write up a semester's worth of material into a blog post. Thus far, I have already had support and suggestions from many researchers/faculty. Since there were no takers for today's Brown Bag, I gave a small presentation on the whole idea. Here is my presentation in full (chockful of Seinfeld references). As I am pitching this as a collaborative effort, I welcome any/all suggestions for Academia Bizarro from the blogosphere too. If you have any ideas/comments/suggestions, please let me know in the comments (your contribution will merit due credit)!