Richardson, J. et al.
Dr. Mario Edward, a molecular biology professor, recently lived through every academic’s worst nightmare when he delivered a lecture to his first-year students that contained unintentionally obscene images of the protein albumin.
Dr. Edward claims the mishap was the result of an effort to make his slides more relatable and exciting to students by boldly exchanging his usual text-heavy PowerPoint slides for animations and diagrams, not realizing how much the alpha helices looked like pubic hair.
“It was an absolutely exhausting night. I gruelled over that presentation for hours,” he remarked. By midnight the night before, Dr. Edward still hadn’t managed to effectively draw a sodium-potassium pump that did not resemble pornography. At three in the morning, exhausted, he finally gave up on the diagram, convincing himself that the students probably wouldn’t notice anyway.
The lecture ended up being one many students will never forget.
“It started normal enough. I found this great transition animation that turns the slide into an origami crane which then flies away. I thought it was pretty cool, but I still noticed several students falling asleep,” reflected Dr. Edward.
But the remaining conscious students perked up at the 15 minute mark of the class when the obscene diagram in question swivelled dramatically onto the projector screen. Stifled laughter, whispers and the sounds of phone cameras capturing the phallic diagram quickly drowned out the snores.
When asked about the lecture, one student commented “I’m not really sure what the diagram was meant to be, but if I was Dr. Edward, I definitely wouldn’t have animated it to pulsate like that.”
In a final reflection, Professor Edward remained dismayed at how the lecture turned out but optimistically remarked “in a way, it was a small success because at least the students were paying attention.”