Science karaoke

A large contingent of biotechnology students from Glacier Peak High School visited the University of Washington earlier this month.

Having sung them my boss’s malaria song during two previous visits, I wanted to do something a bit different this time. But what?

First I pondered the age-old dilemma of whether to pander to the students’ musical preferences, or to inflict my old-fogey tastes upon them.

I chose the latter due to time constraints. Since the bulk of my presentation was about the biophysical screening technique of thermal melting, I whipped up a parody of the 1982 hit “I Melt With You” by Modern English as a sort of summary.

Then there was the question of how to present the song in a somewhat appealing way. I could sing it karaoke-style, but what would the students look at? Me, posing in my usual sorry-but-I-don’t-dance stance?

Incorporating the original song’s video seemed like a more promising option. Perhaps the students and I could all get a few chuckles out of the video together, as an alternative to them laughing only at me. I downloaded the video, added “captions” with my new lyrics, and replaced the original audio track with a no-vocals karaoke version to which I could then sing along.

It was a fair amount of work, but I enjoyed myself, and perhaps the students did as well. They were very polite, as usual, so it was hard to tell for sure. Some of them did sing the chorus with me at the end, though….

I Melt With You, science-ified

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