Lab humour

There’s definitely a certain kind of humour that goes with working in a lab, especially when the vast majority of people are PhD students and postdocs.

Break supervisor's head in an emergency

‘Break supervisor’s head with rock in emergency’

Of course, there are sometimes other people found in the lab – such as undergraduates. It’s fairly evident that they don’t spend all of their days, weeks and months here. Undergraduates tend to treat the research lab like one of the teaching labs, where they automatically assume that some poor technician will sort out and clear up any mess they’ve made. They also like to congregate in large, noisy groups, which led to one PI taking drastic action.

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It’s not hard to remember that other people have to use the communal facilities too

Lots of undergraduates congregating in tissue culture led to drastic action being taken

Lots of undergraduates congregating in tissue culture led to drastic action being taken

However, not all of us who work here are exempt. Some electrophysiologists can be particularly messy – much to the annoyance of the anally-retentive ones.

Electrophysiologists have to use a lot of tubing and wires

‘No mess please, we’re electrophysiologists’

Ice boxes are also subjected to handwritten messages.

Just another anonymous ice box being carried across campus

Just another anonymous ice box being carried across campus

Pearls of wisdom for any neuroscientist

Pearls of wisdom for any neuroscientist

Some are a work of art

‘I blinded me with science’

Some messages are in fact ominous warnings.

You have been warned

You have been warned

A look round the electrophysiology lab yields a few more gems. Electrophysiologists, myself included, probably have the driest and darkest sense of humour. If we didn’t laugh, we’d cry – and believe me, we’ve cried a lot.

A common affliction to the sleep-deprived and stressed

A common affliction of the sleep-deprived and stressed

Have you washed your hands and checked for Cthulhu?

Have you washed your hands and checked for Cthulhu?

Looks as ominous as it sounds

Every rig has it’s own descriptive name

Something every patch clamper can relate to

Something every patch clamper can relate to

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