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Holiday special: A Capella Science

01 May 2018

It is the May Holiday, but not everyone is off to sunnier places. There are even people at work! For those who have stayed home to work hard, Science LinX has something relaxing: A Capella Science, or science in a song.

A Capella Science is a project by Canadian Tim Blais (pronounce Blay), a theoretical physicist who turned to applied music. He sings all the parts himself and mixes them in wonderful videos. The music is usually borrowed, for example in ‘Bohemian Gravity’ (Queen) or ‘Entropic Time’ (Billy Joel). The 2017 hit ‘Despacito’ became a song on evo-devo (evolution driven by developmental biology).

Sir Fraser Stoddart, David Leigh, Ben Feringa and Jean-Pierre Sauvage | Photo Science LinX
Sir Fraser Stoddart, David Leigh, Ben Feringa and Jean-Pierre Sauvage | Photo Science LinX

The project is a fun way to take a short and scientifically sound break from more serious work. And soon there will be a very good reason to take such a break: Science LinX noted on Twitter that Blais is working on a song about molecular motors – the subject which brought ‘our’ Ben Feringa the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Asked to tell us about this new project, Blais told Science Linx it is ‘A new Latin-pop science song parody exploring the unique challenge of building machines at the smallest possible scales.’ However, there is no guarantee that Ben Feringa will be mentioned. The new song is sponsored by the David Leigh lab at the University of Manchester. Leigh is one of the founders of the field of molecular motors and was one of the main speakers at the Nobel Conference organized by the University of Groningen last year. At this conference, he called Sir Fraser Stoddart and Jean Pierre Sauvage onto the stage to help him teach Ben Feringa how to construct catenanes .

It will be some time before we can see the video on molecular motors on the A Capella Science YouTube channel. Until then, we can enjoy the many songs that are already there. And if you like what you hear (and see), don’t forget to visit the Tim Blais crowdfunding page . He is entirely dependent on sponsors and subscribers for the production of his wonderful videos!

Last modified:23 July 2018 12.35 p.m.
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