UnNews:Scientists discover that science is important

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26 August 2021

SYDNEY, Australia -- Late last Friday (E.T.), researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney published the surprising results of a meta-study on the value of academia.

"Our racial profiling technology paid for by racial profilers was being used to racially profile? Get me my monocle!"

Snitch Schnourfield was the lead author of the study: "After our employer made an about face to start responding with outrage once it was revealed publicly that our research on facial recognition technology was being used to help foreign powers identify dissidents,[1] our research team was left directionless. Naturally we weren't going to give back any of our funding to the foreign power once we felt confident that Australian courts would be on our side but we also couldn't keep working on racial profiling without moral... what's the word... qualms?... No, sorry: scrutiny."

"Until the scrutiny died down we were left in a bit of an awkward position. Known for its frugality,[2] the University had recently banned the number of cars researchers could purchase for themselves with grant money and we'd already bought up all the used hard drives we could find to look for homemade porn."[3]

"We had a kind of vague idea for something to do with studying prostitutes while we had sex with them but unfortunately the psychiatry department had already locked up all the streetwalkers, surgically inserted electrodes in their heads without their consent and then repeatedly brought them to climax.[4] While we applauded the psychiatrists for what they were getting away with "in the name of science" - it made things rather difficult for people who also wanted to experiment on poor people or who had at least the slightest conception of human rights (but not enough to call the police on the psychiatrists, of course!)"

"If I give informed consent for you, that's not-rape in my book and I bid good day to you, sir! Now where is my top hat?"

Jess Egret Poleese, another of the study's authors, continues the story: "We were wondering what other avarice we could fulfil when someone had the creative idea that we actually do some science. The idea of institutional science actually doing science tickled us and we figured it'd at least be good for a laugh."

"Some members of the team voiced concerns that this might associate us too closely with the citizenry - private individuals and businesses who had started using the internet as a tool for collaborative research, who weren't funded by enterprise and who had a vested interest in finding the right outcomes - but those team-members didn't seem to realize that the fall from an ivory tower[5] can be rather hard, particularly when pushed..."

"I'm not a nepotist! I'm just a scientist that happens to believe that nepotism is crucial to the scientific method... I've certainly never heard of this "Internet"... Is it some kind of journal?.. It better not be one of those "crowd science" things because no good has ever come from those. Why build tools to make science easier to participate in? Now get me my pipe..."

"But we still weren't sure what to do and it wasn't until one of our interns had a bright idea; "What if we stopped looking at the small stuff and did something grand? What if we did the meta-study of all meta-studies. Literally! Maybe there are some overriding themes throughout all of science and by using these newly-fangled machine learning algorithms we might be able to identify what those patterns are!""

""It will almost be as though science itself is speaking to us! We've always said that the scientific method is better than the word of God, maybe it's time for science to become the word of God.""

"...Now this idea obviously had some flaws. First of all, it came from an intern. Secondly, what the intern said made logical sense. Thirdly, the intern was expressing her argument clearly."

"So we fixed all of these problems by getting rid of the intern and went on to do exactly what she said, except that we listed ourselves as the authors, made the language as obscure as possible and stripped any and all references to religion and God in order to avoid the "obvious" effect."[1]

The results of the meta-analysis were unexpected. The scientists discovered that every single one of the 230 million papers that have ever received academic publication arrived at a similar conclusion: science is valuable and scientists should be given bigger budgets.[2]

In lieu of last Friday's findings, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg spoke to the press in a briefing earlier today:

"Science is going through an incredible time. Empowered by modern technology, we have started to see more and more science being performed all around us."

"Thanks to this recent university study, I am pleased to announce that we have now discovered a method for conducting scientific research that is easier and quicker than ever before..."

"[At this point the Treasurer opened a small curtain nearby.] I reveal to you the "Science Box!" This incredible device can answer any research question that a scientist may pose in mere seconds and at almost zero cost. Watch it tell me that science is important when I ask it to draw conclusions about the best response to our homelessness crisis. [Moments later, while holding the screen of the device for the onlookers to see:] There, see! It reads, "Science is important.""

"Naturally the Minister of Health and Science will be the only person permitted access to this device, the budget will be a billion dollars per shake[3] and, now that we have this technology, academia will join the rest of society in having its resources and legal authorizations for performing experiments taken away. All other science will now be outlawed. Mark my words: as a nation, we will defeat this science that has us surrounded!"

Following this morning's announcement, we tracked down the intern that, ironically, was now responsible for the downfall of the university that had removed her - at the psychiatric ward that she had been removed to.

"Call the police! For God's sake, they've put electrodes in my brain and if they even find out I'm asking you for help, they'll start activating them! Call the police! Call- Aaaaaah! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

At this point, her words became unintelligible amidst her screams of pain, laughter from a nearby office and the sound of our own ignoring them.[6]