Science was finally solved last Wednesday at around 10 am (Central European Time) by Sir Paul Nurse (Nobel Laureate, President of the Royal Society, Heat magazine’s ‘Sexiest Fission Yeast Biologist’). Sir Paul (Sir, to his friends) was visiting the CERN facility near Geneva where he is reported to have ‘snorted the [still radioactive] ashes of Marie Curie before falling into a beam of protons being accelerated by the Large Hadron Collider’. He stumbled out saying repeatedly ‘I’ve done it’ and then wrote a single equation onto a chalkboard without mentioning the number ’42’ once.
The finding has been met with mixed reactions from the scientific and non-scientific communities. Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of the Arts Council of England, has welcomed the news saying that with science finished they “might actually get some fucking money”. Harry Spencer, a psychologist at Harvard University, was equally happy suggesting that the ‘ball was in [psychology’s] court now’, though it is expected that the world will continue to ignore the fields of sociology and political science.
In contrast, the science community is largely despondent at the news. The now ex-scholars are seeking employment and purpose in the ‘real’ world.
Susan Page, previously a molecular biologist from the University of Bath, was able to find work at an employment agency. She was fired after two weeks for repeatedly trying to separate applicants for the various jobs on offer by, according to the official summary of her dismissal, ‘centrifugation… [and], failing that, agarose gel’. Interviewed soon after, she was heard to exclaim “but this is all I know how to do”.
Neuroscientists have also been reported as struggling with their new roles in society; many have found work in veterinary practices due to their animal handling experience. However, they appear to be encountering problems with their insistence on “investigating the real source of the problem” when confronted with animals behaving unusually.
Henrietta Hodgkin, head of funding for Cancer Research UK, thought her expertise in handling money and spending it on important things would be of use to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gideon Osborne. A letter from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, deflated these hopes informing her that her ‘financial expertise’ would be of ‘no use to this, or any future, Conservative Government’.
Greg Lemaître, a theoretical physicist at Oxford, was able to find work in the theological studies department. While his logic has been of “little use” to the department, his experience of doing work with almost zero practical application has been “invaluable”. Other theoretical physicists have been hit harder, with some found hanging around the University of Manchester, hoping Brian Cox might recruit them for a documentary. One physicist, identified only as Dr. Destruction, is hoping to make use of CERN to create “one of those black holes everyone was so worried about” and hold the world to ransom.
It is not all bad news for scientists. PhD students, able to work long hours for little pay, even less appreciation and high levels of verbal abuse, have been able to find work in the sweat shops that are dotted throughout southeast Asia. Physicists in the USA have found their expertise in handling ‘infinitesimally small amounts of matter’ has made them ideal for dealing with the average nutritional value of meals served by chains in the fast-food sector. Tenured professors, who for years have produced nothing novel, whilst coasting off previous successes, have been hired in their droves to help design the iPhone 6.
The family lives of scientists are also predicted to improve. Anna Blot, the partner of Susan Page, posted to twitter that her girlfriend’s desire to repeat everything at least three times for “statistical significance” is “very much appreciated”.
Liam and Ryan
Some of our best friends are social scientists