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Humour in Science

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mareike Herzog.

A funny thing happened on the way to the lab ….. . It would be more correct to say that a funny thing happened IN the lab, because jokes (practical and otherwise), facetious suggestions and general playfulness have been the catalysts for some surprising advances in science. Here I tell some of the stories, and also show how scientists have been able to make humour a major weapon in the quest to bring science to a wider public.


Praised by Entertainment Weekly as “the man who put the fizz into physics,” Len Fisher won a spoof IgNobel Prize in 1999 for using physics to work out the best way to dunk a biscuit, and points out that IgNobel Prizes are still rarer than real Nobel Prizes.

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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