In October 2023 I had the privilege to talk at the Nerd Night in Christchurch. This event series operates at the intersection of comedy, popular culture and science. I talked about my adventures in exploring the peer review process. Some of them to the annoyance of my fellow scientists, conference organizers and predatory publishers. But always with a nod to comic effect and a focus on the overcompetitive beast we call academia.
Automatically generating scientific articles has become easy with dedicated software such as SCIgen. Even a paper that only repeated the sentence “Get me of your fucking mailing list” was recently accepted for publication. Today I received an invitation from the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics to submit a paper. Since I have practically no knowledge of Nuclear Physics I resorted to iOS auto-complete function to help me writing the paper. I started a sentence with “Atomic” or “Nuclear” and then randomly hit the auto-complete suggestions. The text really does not make any sense. After adding the first illustration on nuclear physics from Wikipedia, some references and creating a fake identity (Iris Pear, aka Siri Apple) I submitted the paper which was accepted only three hours later! I know that iOS is a pretty good software, but reaching tenure has never been this close.