Don’t take away a postgrad’s beer, even in name…


It’s common for departments to have a Friday ‘happy hour’ event as a chance to relax and socialise with colleagues. (The CMS in Cambridge recently began such a tradition this year.)

Semi-recently, in an attempt to encourage more attendance, the organisers of one American university’s `Physics Beer’ politely proposed changing the events name to de-emphasise the alcoholic aspects of the event. Here is a response sent to the department PhD mailing list that I was forwarded. (Reproduced with permission from the sender, omitting names.)

After a thoughtful discussion with others who share my grievance, I have this to say:

What the [expletive] is up with all this ‘happy hour’ and ‘social hour’ and ‘sit in a circle singing kumbayah hour’ [expletive]? What’s wrong with ‘physics beer?’ Is the word ‘beer’ so offensive that someone petitioned to have the name of our fine social tradition changed? If there is someone among you who is offended by the word ‘beer’, please come forth so that I may smack the [expletive] out of you.

-[First Name] ‘beerbeerbeerbeerbeer[expletive]you’ [Last Name]

There you have it: physics beer, the third rail of academia. 🙂

One Response to “Don’t take away a postgrad’s beer, even in name…”

  1. In a completely unrelated story, the physics happy hour organisers of the aformentioned university’s rival institution managed to acquire highly-coveted `In ‘n Out’ burgers at a happy hour event a few months ago. If you don’t appreciate this feat, then you haven’t properly sampled West Coast fast food.

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