Frustrated scientistThis week @dr_leigh started a highly popular Twitter hashtag #overlyhonestmethods that has brought hundreds of scientists across the globe out of the proverbial Twitter woodwork. Some of us here at Promega Connections have been reliving our bench science careers and following the hashtag with great interest. Someone will call out a new post to the hashtag, and we will chuckle and start telling stories of our research careers. It’s amazing the things I am learning about my colleagues. Scientists are careful and detail-oriented folks, but the practice of science on a daily basis can be frustrating, especially when you come in the next day to find that none of your colonies grew or that you forgot to add the Taq to your PCR. This hashtag has been a delightful, fun way for scientists around the world to connect, express their common frustruations and laugh a little before returning to the serious work at hand.

  1. If I could do nothing but follow #overlyhonestmethods today I would be a very happy girl. Absolutely brilliant.
  2. I feel that way too; fortunately, I needed to post a blog today, so I have a great excuse to spend time reading this hashtag.

    Some of the #overlyhonestmethods were related to lifestyle.
  3. Supernatant was spun overnight because no one cares when it actually pellets & the tech needed to pick up their kid. #overlyhonestmethods
  4. I left the sample to incubate overnight because it meant i could go home early #overlyhonestmethods
  5. The DNA was allowed to resuspend in TE at 37C or at the temperature of my right trouser pocket while I was at coffee #overlyhonestmethods
  6. Others were related to equipment issues and failures.
  7. RT @benosaka: Blood samples were spun at 1500rpm because the centrifuge made a scary noise at higher speeds. #overlyhonestmethods
  8. We don’t use this apparatus because the lab can’t afford it. #overlyhonestmethods
  9. RT @droenn: I cited this paper because everyone else has cited it, though noone has ever seen an actual copy #overlyhonestmethods
  10. Use of dirty glassware led to the discovery of an unknown, but effective, co-catalyst. #overlyhonestmethods
  11. RT @thekatybrown1: Samples were stored at either 4, -20 or -80 degrees depending on where there was space #overlyhonestmethods
  12. The microbalance was so temperamental that an undergrad named it “Larry” in order to yell at it more effectively. #overlyhonestmethods
  13. 8 samples were analysed using gel electrophoresis because the narrow comb doesn’t line up with the multichannel pipette #overlyhonestmethods
  14. Still others were related to the natural tendency of scientists to have fun after a hard day’s work.
  15. RT @boredjessica: Leftover liquid nitrogen was disposed of by freezing everything for our entertainment. #overlyhonestmethods
  16. Our field site is the most appropriate Mars analog because it’s in Antarctica and I wanted to see penguins. #overlyhonestmethods
  17. Other remarks revolved around journals and writing.
  18. The article was written in passive voice because the PI went through and changed all the active back to passive. #overlyhonestmethods
  19. RT @devillesylvain: we didn’t read half of the papers we cite because they are behind a paywall #overlyhonestmethods #OA
  20. RT @eperlste: We used jargon instead of plain English to prove that a decade of grad school and postdoc made us smart. #overlyhonestmethods
  21. And there was plenty of talk about stats and math.
  22. Statistical tests were chosen by using the only ones we know how to get Prism to do #overlyhonestmethods
  23. RT @sennoma: We are reporting four significant figures because, um, wait, how do significant figures work again? #overlyhonestmethods
  24. We chose Structural Equation Modeling as the analysis method because most papers in our target journal seem to use that #overlyhonestmethods
  25. And others were just related to the kinds of mistakes that happen in the lab on a daily basis and drive us all to distraction.
  26. RT @a_squared_2: #overlyhonestmethods #confessions ow.ly/gFgTu Fave: “@atomselectrons This dye was selected because the bottle was within reach.”
  27. RT @sennoma: pH of buffer B was adjusted with HCl… then back a bit with NaOH… then a bit more HCl… #overlyhonestmethods
  28. #overlyhonestmethods Got hopelessly lost on my way to field site – returned to base and said I forgot some equipment
  29. Approximately 50ul of master mix was inadvertently added to the lab bench prior to aliquoting to sample tubes. #overlyhonestmethods
  30. Contamination may have been caused by the particularly fuzzy sweater I was wearing #overlyhonestmethods
  31. And finally, one, perhaps my favorite, spoke the universal language of Monty Python and expressed the sincere desire of so many of us to, just for once:
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Michele Arduengo

Social Media Manager at Promega Corporation
Michele earned her B.A. in biology at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, and her PhD through the BCDB Program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Michele is the social media manager at Promega and managing editor of the Promega Connections blog. She enjoys getting lost in a good book, trumpet playing, knitting, and snowshoeing.

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