7. … And we add small surprises

Give our readers a smile in the mind

Much of what we do is serious stuff. But there are opportunities to raise a smile. It’s memorable and shows we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

This is particularly true when we’re talking about the real people behind the instruments or processes, and the day-to-day reality of being a scientist or researcher.

What counts as a ‘small surprise’?

  • It could be an unusual word or phrase.
  • A ‘real life’ observation.
  • A flash of humor.

Do: use a surprising moment to reinforce a truth or insight

Don’t: just make a joke for the sake of it


Explaining our knowledge center – a ‘real life truth’:

Calibrate your instruments. Troubleshoot a problem. Find out what that button really does. We have answers.

Explaining OmniTrust – unexpected words that capture the frustration of paperwork:

Compliance is essential – but we know what it’s like: an hour of lab time can mean another hour of form-filling. And there’s the added hassle of doing it all across systems that don’t talk to each other.

A recruitment ad – a flash of humor that’s also an appeal to ‘our tribe’:

We’re after enquiring minds, imaginative thinkers, and proud geeks. Those who are irresistibly drawn to hard problems others can’t crack. Those who are always thinking ‘what if…’.