Swedish Scientists Sneak Bob Dylan Lyrics Into Their Academic Publications For Last 17 Years

Sci­en­tists who study and write about intesti­nal gases—just like the rest of us, I guess—find it hard to resist the occa­sion­al fart joke. And when they’re John Jund­berg and Eddie Weitzberg, two pro­fes­sors at the Karolin­s­ka Insti­tute in Stock­holm, they can’t resist couch­ing their occa­sion­al fart joke in a Bob Dylan lyric, part of a now sev­en­teen-year tra­di­tion among five Swedish sci­en­tists who’ve been slip­ping Dylan lyrics into their pub­li­ca­tions, wager­ing on who can fit the most in before retire­ment.

It all began with Jund­berg and Weitzberg’s “Nitric oxide and inflam­ma­tion: the answer is blow­ing in the wind,” pub­lished in the jour­nal Nature Med­i­cine in 1997. (See Dylan play the paper’s inspi­ra­tion above in 1963.) Next came arti­cles like “Blood on the tracks: a sim­ple twist of fate” by Kon­stan­ti­nos Meletis and Jonas Frisen and “Tan­gled up in blue: Mol­e­c­u­lar car­di­ol­o­gy in the post­mol­e­c­u­lar era” by Ken­neth Chien.

The five aren’t the only sci­en­tists who try to spice up dry research pub­li­ca­tions with word­play. “If you read oth­er sci­en­tif­ic arti­cles,” ways Weitzberg, “you’ll find peo­ple try­ing to be clever in dif­fer­ent ways.” But they don’t do so at the expense of the sci­ence, or their careers: “We’re not talk­ing about sci­en­tif­ic papers—we could have got in trou­ble for that-but rather arti­cles we have writ­ten about research by oth­ers, book intro­duc­tions, edi­to­ri­als and things like that.”

The writer with the most Dylan ref­er­ences gets lunch in a restau­rant in Sol­na, a town north of Stock­holm. But thanks to inter­est from out­lets like the Wash­ing­ton Post, he may also get a few extra min­utes of fame. Weitzberg’s response? “I would much rather become famous for my sci­en­tif­ic work than for my Bob Dylan quotes, but yes, I am enjoy­ing this!”

via The Local

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Phys­i­cal Attrac­tion: Mar­riage Pro­pos­al Comes in the Form of a Physics Paper

Fake Bob Dylan Sings Real Dr. Seuss

Stu­dent Rick­rolls Teacher By Sneak­ing Rick Ast­ley Lyrics into Quan­tum Physics Paper

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness.

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