Researchers are punks

The fields of science and punk rock share some surprising similarities, according to the people who love both

Alison McCook
Feb 9, 2011
Creativity, do-it-yourself individualism, anti-establishmentarianism, and attitude -- these are the central tenets of punk music. But to many scientists, they should sound very familiar.
Bill Cuevas playing guitar with Conflict
Photo: Karen Walraven

"Punk ethos is typified by a passionate adherence to individualism, creativity and freedom of expression with no regard to established opinions," Bill Cuevas, biochemist at the biotech company Genencor and music director at the Stanford University radio station KZSU, tells __The Scientist__. "Good scientific discipline is also typified by such qualities, including inquisitiveness and curiosity, with no entrenchment to established beliefs."Punk music became a force to be reckoned with by the late 1970s, embodied by bands such as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and The Clash. This new breed of musician questioned authority, rejected traditions, and stripped music down to its essential elements. Importantly, punk is "about the freedom to express what you want to express,"...