Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

The Emotion of it All

Science, Ewan Birney writes in The Observer, can be much more emotional than journal papers can lead people to believe. He recalls a heated argument with a colleague over a set of experiments. "We must have been a sight: two geeks wildly gesticulating and laughing, happy to be friends after a virtual plate-throwing fight," Birney writes, adding "this is not what you write up in your scientific paper."

Other emotions — happiness as well as frustration — come out, too, Birney writes. "Pivotal moments in science can cause an outright physical reaction – a wave of giddiness when you realise you've backed the right idea," he says, but then there also is "the sinking feeling when you just can't make an idea fit."