Scientists tell us their favourite jokes

Two theoretical physicists are lost at the top of a mountain. Theoretical physicist No 1 pulls out a map and peruses it for a while. Then he turns to theoretical physicist No 2 and says: “Hey, I’ve figured it out. I know where we are.”
“Where are we then?”
“Do you see that mountain over there?”
“Well… THAT’S where we are.”



An electron and a positron go into a bar.
Positron: “You’re round.”
Electron: “Are you sure?”
Positron: “I’m positive.”



A group of wealthy investors wanted to be able to predict the outcome of a horse race. So they hired a group of biologists, a group of statisticians, and a group of physicists. Each group was given a year to research the issue. After one year, the groups all reported to the investors. The biologists said that they could genetically engineer an unbeatable racehorse, but it would take 200 years and $100bn. The statisticians reported next. They said that they could predict the outcome of any race, at a cost of $100m per race, and they would only be right 10% of the time. Finally, the physicists reported that they could also predict the outcome of any race, and that their process was cheap and simple. The investors listened eagerly to this proposal. The head physicist reported, “We have made several simplifying assumptions: first, let each horse be a perfect rolling sphere… ”

This is really the joke form of “all models are wrong, some models are useful” and also sums up the sort of physics confidence that they can solve problems (ie, by making the model solvable).



What is a physicist’s favourite food? Fission chips.



Why did Erwin Schrödinger, Paul Dirac and Wolfgang Pauli work in very small garages? Because they were quantum mechanics.



A friend who’s in liquor production,
Has a still of astounding construction,
The alcohol boils,
Through old magnet coils,
He says that it’s proof by induction.

I knew this limerick when I was at school. I’ve always loved comic poetry and I like the pun in it. And it is pretty geeky …



What does DNA stand for? National Dyslexia Association.



A new monk shows up at a monastery where the monks spend their time making copies of ancient books. The new monk goes to the basement of the monastery saying he wants to make copies of the originals rather than of others’ copies so as to avoid duplicating errors they might have made. Several hours later the monks, wondering where their new friend is, find him crying in the basement. They ask him what is wrong and he says “the word is CELEBRATE, not CELIBATE!”



A blowfly goes into a bar and asks: “Is that stool taken?”



They have just found the gene for shyness. They would have found it earlier, but it was hiding behind two other genes.



What does the ‘B’ in Benoit B Mandelbrot stand for? Benoit B Mandelbrot.



Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip? To get to the other… eh? Hang on…



A statistician is someone who tells you, when you’ve got your head in the fridge and your feet in the oven, that you’re – on average – very comfortable.



At a party for functions, ex is at the bar looking despondent. The barman says: “Why don’t you go and integrate?” To which ex replies: “It would not make any difference.”



There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don’t.



The floods had subsided, and Noah had safely landed his ark on Mount Sinai. “Go forth and multiply!” he told the animals, and so off they went two by two, and within a few weeks Noah heard the chatter of tiny monkeys, the snarl of tiny tigers and the stomp of baby elephants. Then he heard something he didn’t recognise… a loud, revving buzz coming from the woods. He went in to find out what strange animal’s offspring was making this noise, and discovered a pair of snakes wielding a chainsaw. “What on earth are you doing?” he cried. “You’re destroying the trees!” “Well Noah,” the snakes replied, “we tried to multiply as you bade us, but we’re adders… so we have to use logs.”



A statistician gave birth to twins, but only had one of them baptised. She kept the other as a control.



A chemistry teacher is recruited as a radio operator in the first world war. He soon becomes familiar with the military habit of abbreviating everything. As his unit comes under sustained attack, he is asked to urgently inform his HQ. “NaCl over NaOH! NaCl over NaOH!” he says. “NaCl over NaOH?” shouts his officer. “What do you mean?” “The base is under a salt!” came the reply.



Sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium sodium Batman!



A weed scientist goes into a shop. He asks: “Hey, you got any of that inhibitor of 3-phosphoshikimate-carboxyvinyl transferase? Shopkeeper: “You mean Roundup?” Scientist: “Yeah, that’s it. I can never remember that dang name.”



A mosquito was heard to complain
That chemists had poisoned her brain.
The cause of her sorrow
Was para-dichloro-



A psychoanalyst shows a patient an inkblot, and asks him what he sees. The patient says: “A man and woman making love.” The psychoanalyst shows him a second inkblot, and the patient says: “That’s also a man and woman making love.” The psychoanalyst says: “You are obsessed with sex.” The patient says: “What do you mean I am obsessed? You are the one with all the dirty pictures.”



Psychiatrist to patient: “Don’t worry. You’re not deluded. You only think you are.”



After sex, one behaviourist turned to another behaviourist and said, “That was great for you, but how was it for me?”



An interviewer approaches a variety of scientists, and asks them: “Is it true that all odd numbers are prime?” The mathematician rejects the conjecture. “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, but nine is not. The conjecture is false.” The physicist is less certain. “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, but nine is not. Then again 11 is and so is 13. Up to the limits of measurement error, the conjecture appears to be true.” The psychologist says: “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, nine is not. Eleven is and so is 13. The result is statistically significant.” The artist says: “One is prime, three is prime, five is prime, seven is prime, nine is prime. It’s true, all odd numbers are prime!”



What do scientists say when they go to the bar? Climate change scientists say: “Where’s the ice?” Seismologists might ask for their drinks to be “shaken and not stirred”. Microbiologists request just a small one. Neuroscientists ask for their drinks “to be spiked”. Scientists studying the defective gubernaculum say: “Put mine in a highball”, and finally, social scientists say: “I’d like something soft.” When paying at the bar, geneticists say: “I think I have some change in my jeans.” And at the end of the evening a shy benzene biochemist might say to his companion: “Please give me a ring.”


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