The 12 Days of Christmas at AgResearch
2 December 2010
AgResearch’s singing scientist Dr Matthew Barnett has followed his success with the “Epigenome Song”, and the "I Love Fibre" song, with a version of “The 12 Days of Christmas”.
Matt is a Senior Research Scientist in AgResearch’s Agri-Foods & Health Section, based in The Liggins Institute, at the University of Auckland, and believes that the serious image of scientists can be lightened up to make science more accessible.
“This is a bit of fun for Christmas, but really communicating who we are and what we do as scientists is a valuable way of building support for science and our work,” said Dr Barnett.
Having been asked to compose a version of The 12 Days of Christmas for AgResearch’s newsletter, Matt was pleased to put together another recording that promotes science. A member of two bands which feature more popular sounding numbers, and having released two EPs and a CD, Matt is torn between his enthusiasm for music and science.
“It’s good to bring these interests together, although I’m not sure the judges of the 2009 MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year knew what to make of The Epigenome Song when I sent it in with my application.” Matt’s specially composed track was the first ever accompanying piece of music for the MacDiarmid judges to assess. “I put it together, as part of the criteria was communication. Science has a mixed reception out there so explaining things in a more accessible way to me suggested music.”
The Epigenome Song appeared on New Zealand’s major television channels and has also had over 12,000 YouTube views. Both this song and the I Love Fibre song are being used in teaching around the world.
Matt hopes that Santa will bring him a recording contract or a new guitar for Christmas.