Respectful Insolence

Best scientific talk ever!

I know this one’s been circulating around the Internet for a while now, but it’s so perfect that I can’t resist posting it here.

Pure genius, particularly the paper upon which the above talk was based!

Comments

  1. #1 Beth
    May 6, 2007

    I’m a little confused about what just happened. Is this an example of how to format articles and presentations?

  2. #2 Skeptico
    May 6, 2007

    Huh?

  3. #3 Roy
    May 6, 2007

    Now you see the true potential of Power Point.

  4. #4 Blake Stacey
    May 6, 2007

    My favorite part is the second question in the Q&A, and pulling up the extra slide with the appendix of equations.

  5. #5 Coin
    May 6, 2007

    And, to be fair, The Parking Lot is Full.

  6. #6 TheBrummell
    May 6, 2007

    My favorite part is the second question in the Q&A, and pulling up the extra slide with the appendix of equations.

    Mine too. The second question was pure genius, especially the little bit of back-and-forth “chicken chicken chic-” “Chicken, chicken chicken!” arguing. Having a few extra slides to cover likely questions is the sign of a well-planned presentation. I also liked the way individual data points appeared and were highlighted on the asymptote line-graph halfway through.

    This is awesome. I so needed to see something like this yesterday at a one-day conference I attended. Having seen this now, I think “chicken chicken” will forever be linked in my mind with “codon bias”. Urggh….

    Is this an example of how to format articles and presentations?

    It’s a parody of a scientific presentation. Most presentations at symposia are so jargon-heavy and information-dense that the presenter might as well be just saying “chicken” over and over for all the good a typical audience member will get out of it. The only thing that would have made this parody more authentic would have been if he’d gone over his alloted time and been studiously ignoring the desperate mimed pleas from the organizer to wrap it up, calling up slide after slide long past the scheduled end-point. He also didn’t have an acknowledgements slide, though I’m not 100% certain about that.

  7. #7 Renee
    May 6, 2007

    Does anyone know who the speaker is, and where this talk took place? I’m impressed that he was able to keep a straight face throughout. And he used exactly the right tone of voice, and the appropriate body language to further bolster the scholarly nature of his research.

    The last slide is priceless. As is the chart with the nonsensical plethora of data points.

    This truly shows the power of the PowerPoint animation feature.

  8. #8 Hayden
    May 6, 2007

    A brilliant parody of so many scientific talks I’ve seen!

  9. #9 D.D.
    May 6, 2007

    I don’t know the speaker (see link to the chicken paper?), but I’m almost certain it took place at the New York Academy of Sciences (at the new World Trade Center HQ): the person who introduced the speaker mentioned the Annals, and I recognize that projector screen.

  10. #10 qubit
    May 6, 2007

    Brilliant! This is up there with the classic undergraduate physics paper, Electron Band Structure in Germanium, My Ass! Actually, I’m more than a little disturbed by how much the chicken paper looks like my research papers.

  11. #11 pat
    May 6, 2007

    chicken

  12. #12 D.D.
    May 6, 2007

    Never mind: it was presented at the AAAS 2007 Humor Session. All academic presentation podiums/projector screens look the same…

  13. #13 Aaron
    May 7, 2007

    It was published in the Annals of Improbable Research ( http://improbable.com/magazine/ ) in 2006.

    Link: http://improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume12/v12i5/chicken-12-5.pdf

  14. #14 Bob O'H
    May 7, 2007

    Orac, I’m surprised you’re publicising this. Perhaps you’re not aware of the controversy surrounding it, including the accusations involving pork (Winter, J. [2006] AIR 12(6): 2), cowardice (Wenze, L. [2007] AIR 13(2): 2) and hamsters (Wenze, S. [2007] AIR 13(2): 2).

    Bob

  15. #15 Bob O'H
    May 7, 2007

    Oops. As some of you will have noticed, I got the references the wrong way around in my last post. Obviously the cowardice reference is to Wenze, S. and the hamsters are due to Wenze, L. My sincerest apologies for any confusion that I have caused.

    But, you can get the powerpoint of the presentation. This makes it clearer that when he says “Chicken chicken chicken” he is showing that evolution is a failed theory with absolutely no relevance at all to poultry science.

    NotSal

  16. #16 Dmonfan
    May 7, 2007

    That’s quite a departure from Feynmans’ lectures on physics.

  17. #17 andrea
    May 9, 2007

    What, no PCR, no biochem pathways? What kinda presentation is that, anyway?

    (OMG, the graduate Seminar flashbacks!)

  18. #18 KiwiInOz
    May 10, 2007

    I thought that the time honoured word is rhubarb. But maybe that is just in British comedy, not science.

  19. #19 LabDancer
    May 10, 2007

    Bravo I say! The general effect is dazzling – compulsive even! Yet I’m not entirely convinced each and every element of this protein work will stand up to wiki scrutiny: a cursory glance suggests the conception may fail to account for the limiting effects of the artificially high modern rate of lay. At the risk of seeming Cassandra, may I suggest we remain open to the possibility that in the fullness of time even the author may concede his point is … how to put it kindly … overstated? For now I commit to remain open to granting this in this work – as with so much in this Age of Disingenuity – the beauty may lay truly in the details; but I cannot shake this feelng that the heading to the references may say it all.

  20. #20 mcmillan
    May 10, 2007

    As is the chart with the nonsensical plethora of data points.

    In the video I thought that looked like a 2D NMR spectra. That seemed fitting to me being in a structural biology grad program. I’ve seen a fair number of talks where people put up spectra, (or diffraction patterns from crystollographers) that mean absolutly nothing to people aren’t used to looking at that kind of data.

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