The Sound Of Science – The Best Science Music Video Parodies

Scientists are not boring. We have fun too. Whether it’s relating your PhD with interpretive dance, knowing when you’re a biologist or a chemist, or playing seminar bingo, science fun is science at its best and fun at its geekiest.

In recent years, there has been a flurry of science parody music videos, combining pop culture, lyrics requiring citation references, and dance moves that were probably invented and rehearsed on a dark cold friday night in the lab. People everywhere (oh, alright, scientists) are lapping them up – one of the most recent ones, a parody of Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’ called “Bad Project” (see below), has already hit over 1.8 million views since 20th Jan this year. And quite rightly so, because it’s great. So I’d thought I’d compile a list of some of the best ones, and I will probably over time add to this list. Enjoy!

“Bad Project”

A true masterpiece. Captures the essence of a PhD’s life – the boring mundane tasks, the constant failure, the self-hate, the empty promises of easy projects and top-tier publications, the crushing destruction of every optimistic cell in your brain, and dresses made of biohazard bags. Top points for choreography too.

“Most Beautiful Girl In The Lab”

A meta-parody, if you will – this is a take on the Prince-influenced Flight Of The Conchords song “Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)”. This version has apparently caused controversy amongst some scientists – the original posting of the video has been removed, with an apology uploaded in its place for people who found the video sexist towards female scientists, who have long struggled for equality with their male peers. Personally, I think it’s great, and that it’s nothing more than a bit of harmless fun, as it was intended. I particularly enjoy the capturing of the awkwardness of a late-night toe-tapping wait for a piece of lab equipment with a scientist you’ve never met before.

“The PCR Song”

Designed as an advert for BioRad thermal cyclers, this is not really a parody of anything in particular, except garishly over-the-top patriotic songs such as this, maybe. But screw it – if you’re going to proclaim your love to anything through the medium of song, it may as well be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. We salute you, PCR.

[The follow-up, a parody of The Village People’s ‘YMCA’ called “GTCA“, is also worth a watch. Working for BioRad looks like more fun than that place that makes giant microbes!]

“Oxidate it or love it / Electron to the next one”

I don’t know really know a lot about the origins of this video, but I think this is the jist – Tom McFadden of Stanford University has been making a series of music video parodies for the class of Human Biology 3A. I was introduced to this through the Timbaland parody “Too Late To Apoptize“, but after searching through the other videos he’s uploaded, I have to admit this one is much better. To summarise, it’s a take on The Game’s “Hate It Or Love It” featuring an interlude based on Jay-Z’s “Onto The Next One”. The video is stylistically spot on, and the lyrics ain’t half bad either. NADH Dehydro!

So that about (w)raps it up (arf arf). I’ll probably be adding to this in the future (gotta have something to do whilst waiting for Z-stacks) so if you’ve got any suggestions let’s hear them!



EDIT: some additions


An informative and pretty amusing parody of the Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars song “Billionaire”. Take your shots, yo. (reposted from Punctuated Equilibrium)



Filed under procrastination

7 responses to “The Sound Of Science – The Best Science Music Video Parodies

  1. David Nicholson

    I’m not overly fond of the autotuned sound but I love Carl Sagan so much that I can tolerate this one. The great thing about him is that he sounds just as lyrical in the original!

  2. “I’m ready to NanoDrop it like it’s hot..”

    You have to wait until the end of the video to hear those exquisite words, but this is another take on scientists having fun on youtube but without the singing.

    When does filming for CCPB’s very own parody start!?

    I’m liking this blog, keep it up!

  3. David – That’s great. In fact, I’ll have a browse through the other videos to add it to this here list. Although, I agree, there is far too much autotuning in parody videos these days. Not like the good old days, when science music was pure…

    Dr Latkins – that’s rubbish. “Nanodrop Like It’s Hot” is an excellent idea for a parody (and one I’ve been thinking of for a while!), but those two clowns simply don’t have the style to pull it off. They’re not in the same league of advertising as BioRad. When you hear the swelling chorus of “P-C-RRRRRR” you’re practically running for the nearest catalog. When you get some guys with questionable hairstyles telling me to ‘Nanodrop it like it’s hot’… I just hate life.

    But thanks for the kind comments!

  4. Patty S

    Nice one!!
    especially like the line ‘ you’re so beautiful you could be a sales rep’ in ‘Most Beautiful Girl In The Lab’ šŸ˜›

  5. Pingback: Top Time-Killers – the ultimate, ever-expanding, all-consuming, but hopefully-not-PhD-ruining list | Coffee & Cake, Pizza & Beer

  6. CCB

    How about this one:

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