What do scientists do when they're not in the lab? Apparently, they watch lots and lots of movies.
Using #sciencemoviequote, hundreds of scientists have tweeted memorable quotes from movies, reimagined to give the researcher the leading role and make the lab center stage. "I sequence dead people," tweeted Rebekah Rogers (@evolscientist), slightly tweaking a famous line from the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense. Rogers is a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley, researching evolution of genomic structure using ancient DNA.
Karen Kaplan writes in the Los Angeles Times that the social media trend took off after Imperial College graduate student and paleontologist Jon Tennant (@Protohedgehog) got some exciting data while researching the factors impacting the diversity of Mesozoic Era dinosaurs. So, he tweeted: "I love the smell of null hypothesis rejection in the morning."
Kaplan reports that a minute later, Helena Ledmyr from the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility in Stockholm, copied the tweet and added the hashtag #scienceamoviequote. And it took off!
Anthony Rogers (@anthonomics), an economist working on environmental policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts, tweeted one inspired by Dirty Harry: "You've gotta ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel statistically significant?' Well, do ya, punk?"
Marine biologist David Shiffman (@WhySharksMatter), who studies shark feeding ecology and conservation, tweeted in a nod to Jaws: "We're going to need to write a grant for a bigger boat."
According to Kaplan, the social media craze reveals science enthusiasts have eclectic tastes in movies and a knack for puns. For example, Elizabeth Gibney (@LizzieGibney), a science reporter at Nature, tweeted: "Here's looking at Euclid." Get it?