News

Science Revue music video clip gains international exposure



18 December 2009

Faculty of Science students have created a hilarious music video clip, originally shown at the 2009 Science Revue 'Jurassic Quark', which is now gaining international exposure on YouTube and has been distributed by CSIRO communications to CSIRO staff.

YouTube success: Boy band dance moves are a highlight of the Science Revue's music video clip 'CSIRO'.
YouTube success: Boy band dance moves are a highlight of the Science Revue's music video clip 'CSIRO'.

Singing to the tune of the Backstreet Boys hit from 1997 Everybody (Backstreet's Back), the song features students acting as CSIRO scientists espousing the value of various scientific disciplines, accompanied by classic boy band dance moves performed by five black-clad lead scientists and a group of labcoat-wearing backing singer scientists.

The premise of the video clip is the silencing of CSIRO scientists by their organisation on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, which made media headlines earlier in 2009.

The comic music video clip opens with introductory text, setting the scene:

"On the 15th of April, 2009, top climate scientists from the CSIRO rebuked the government's plans for preventing global warming.

"These scientists were forbidden to speak on behalf of the CSIRO, and had to publish their views as 'personal opinions'.

"Outraged by this, five scientists from the CSIRO produced a video arguing that they be permitted to comment when their scientific knowledge was relevant.

"This is not that video."

The clip on YouTube has been viewed more than 31 250 times at the time of writing, and elicited more than 80 positive comments from viewers.

Science student Charles Tian plays the mathematician in the Science Revue's CSIRO music video clip.
Science student Charles Tian plays the mathematician in the Science Revue's CSIRO music video clip.

Comments include: "GREAT JOB! I've emailed this link to scores of people so far! Reply - universally loved!" and "I NEVER get sick of watching this. A dozen times so far. Well done!" and "Yay! I like it (I work for CSIRO!)" and "Brilliant beyond belief, this made my day!"

The lyrics were written by a team of students including Chloe Paul, Alistair Magee, Casey Handmer, Paul Sztajer, Nicky Rollings, Charles Tian, Emma Lindley, Caitlin Fisher, Victoria Nelson and Cecilia Lockhart Nelson.

"The boy band concept actually came first - I just thought one day that it would be hilarious to do a spoof boy band and I knew we had the talent. Alistair Magee came up with the chorus line CSIRO and I wrote the first version of the lyrics that weekend," explained Chloe Paul, who directed the video clip and wrote the first drafts of the song.

Classic boy band moves have made the Science Revue's comic video clip a huge success - even distributed by the CSIRO to all staff.
Classic boy band moves have made the Science Revue's comic video clip a huge success - even distributed by the CSIRO to all staff.

"At that stage, the lyrics had nothing to do with the climate change silencing, as it hadn't happened yet. The original was just complaining about funding. Time passed and it sat in a drawer, until Yasmin Clarke pointed out the controversy and we realised we could give the scientists a strong motivation in the song."

Finding stars for the clip was easy with the comic talent of science students Bashar Alani who played the chemist, Felix Marsh-Wakefield who played the biologist, Long Nguyen who played the physicist, and Charles Tian who played the mathematician. Arts student, Nick Starte, was recruited to play the psychologist. Two Science Revue singers provided the lead voices on the clip: Isaac Esler and Chris Dendle.

"The brilliant boy band dance moves were choreographed by Kate Lennard. It was all heavily inspired by the Backstreet Boys dance moves from several of their video clips, though," said Chloe.

Nicky Rollings, head writer on the Science Revue said, "We found the idea of a boy band in the first place pretty funny and everyone greatly enjoyed doing the work to make the video clip happen. We had no idea that it would become so popular until all the views on YouTube. We'd been told by many people that it was their favourite part of the revue, but seeing the sheer number of views in such a short space of time was rather astonishing!"

CSIRO staff were so impressed and amused by the clip, that they included a link to the YouTube clip in their internal e-newsletter for staff Monday Mail on 26th October and played the clip at a CSIRO end of year staff function.

Science student Bashar Alani plays the chemist in the Science Revue's CSIRO music video clip.
Science student Bashar Alani plays the chemist in the Science Revue's CSIRO music video clip.

So will there be more boy band antics in the 2010 Science Revue?

Nicky Rollings said, "At present there are no current plans - Science Revue likes trying out new things, rather than repeating stuff, but never say never!"

Chloe Paul said, "I'm actually currently thinking Motown perhaps... we like to take on the next challenge."

Check out the hilarious music video clip on YouTube at:


Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 53251b2d585b2d543e112d1807122b0b28013f322c7d0727