Let ε < 0.

03.25.09

Do-it-yourself research proposal writing kit

Filed under: Academic humor — Travis @

From CERN Courier 9, July 1969, p. 211.

We present a “writing kit” from which the reader himself may construct a large variety of penetrating statement, such as he is accustomed to draw from our pages. It is based on the SIMP (Simplified Modular Prose) system developed in the Honeywell computer’s jargon kit.

Take any four digit number — try 1969 for example — and compose your statement by selecting the corresponding phrases from the following tables (1 from Table A, 9 from Table B, etc…)

Table A

1. It has to be admitted that

2. As a consequence of inter-related factors,
3. Despite appearances to the contrary,
4. Until such time as fresh insight reverses the current trend,
5. Using the principle of cause and effect,
6. Presuming the validity of the present extrapolation,
7. Without wishing to open Pandora’s box,
8. It is now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that
9. Worrying though the present situation may be,

Table B

1. willy-nilly determination to acheive success
2. construction of a high-energy accelerator
3. access to greater financial resources
4. pursuit of a Nobel prize
5. bubble chamber physics
6. a recent computation involving non-semi-simple algebras
7. over-concern with the problems of administration

8. new measurements of eta zero zero
9. information presented in CERN Courier

Table C

1. should only serve to add weight to
2. would inevitably lead to a refutation of
3. can yield conclusive information on
4. might usefully take issue with

5. must take into consideration
6. will sadly mean the end of
7. ought to stir up enthusiasm for
8. could result in a confirmation of
9. deflates the current thinking regarding

Table D

1. the need to acquire further computing capacity.
2. humanitarian concern with the personal ceiling.

3. the Veneziano model.
4. a design which produces collisions at a later stage.
5. Macbeth’s instruction to “Throw physic to the dogs.”
6. divergencies in weak interaction theory.
7. the desire to ensure that certain scientists go far.
8. bootstraps, conspiracies, poles and dips.
9. the future of physics in Europe.

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