2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

Bob Dylan song titles favourite for puns in scientific papers


It seems scientists do have a sense of humour and a fondness for Bob Dylan.

The first use of a Dylan song seems to have been in a 1970 article in The Journal of Practical Nursing titles “The times they are a-changing“.

A study just published in the British Medical Journal by scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that the practice only became commonplace after 1990.

They found 727 references to Bob Dylan songs including 135 variants of The times they are a-changing and 36 references to Blowing in the wind. Other references included:

  • Dietary nitrate – a slow train coming
  • Blood on the tracks: a simple twist of fate
  • Nitric oxide and inflammation: the answer is blowing in the wind
  • Knockin’ on pollen’s door: live cell imaging of early polarisation events in germinating Arabidopsis pollen
  • Bringing it all back home: how I became a relational analyst
  • Tangled up in blue: molecular cardiology on the post molecular era
  • Like a rolling stone:epigenetic regulation of neural stem cells and brain development by factors controlling histone acetylation and methylation

You can understand why scientist might want to jazz up their papers but now the secret is out will peer reviewers clamp down on it. Or will it spin off in other (1) directions?

Source: The Times

Author: mikethepsych

He says he's a psychologist but aren't we all?

2 thoughts on “Bob Dylan song titles favourite for puns in scientific papers

  1. I think a review of academic psychology research papers is now called for to see what they have bee up to!

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