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How random is this: We found no fewer than six musicians (half of them punk) who also have work in JSTOR. Find links to their research below, plus a Spotify playlist to get you moving (and reading) over the weekend. Enjoy! (But you’ll need a Spotify account to listen.)

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Lady Tron – Mira Aroyo

Circles: The Replication-Recombination-Chromosome Segregation Connection

Mira Aroyo, one of the members of the UK-based electronic act Ladytron, started out her career as a geneticist at Oxford. In this piece, she and other scientists work on chromosome segregation. Or, as the abstract catchily says, “Crossing over by homologous recombination between monomeric circular chromosomes generates dimeric circular chromosomes that cannot be segregated to daughter cells during cell division.”

Song – Seventeen

The Descendents – Milo Aukerman

Mutation in the Arabidopisis thaliana DEK1 calpain gene perturbs endosperm and embryo development while over-expression affects organ development globally

Milo Aukerman of The Decendents famously “went to college” after the release of his punk band’s first album, Milo Goes to College in 1982. Aukerman did a pretty good job of living out the double life of musician and academic. The Descendents have a secure spot in the 80s punk canon even while he specialized in biochemistry and went on to work at DuPont.

Song – Suburban Home

Bad Religion – Gregory Gaffin

Macroscope: Evolution, Religion and Free Will

Another punk scientist! Gaffin specializes in anthropology, biology and life sciences. In this paper he and William B. Provine examine the intersection of religious belief, evolution, and the scientific profession.

Song – 21st Century Digital Boy

Iggy Pop

Caesar Lives

The punk godfather is a big fan of Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. According to Iggy: “I feel a great comfort and relief knowing that there were others who lived and died and thought and fought so long ago; I feel less tyrannized by the present day.”

Song – Search & Destroy 

The Dream Syndicate – Karl Precoda

In the Vortex of Modernity: Writing Blackness, Blindness and Insight

Precoda was an original member of The Dream Syndicate, who were part of the “Paisley Underground,” a revival of folk and psychedelic rock in Los Angeles in the mid-80s. He now teaches cinema and media studies at Virginia Tech.

Song – Tell Me When It’s Over

Matmos — Drew Daniel

“Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will”: Melancholy Epistemology and Masochistic Fantasy in The Merchant of Venice

Daniel is part of the electronic group Matmos, who, along with their own music, helped produce Björk’s albums Vespertine and Medúlla. 

Song – For the Trees


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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 98, No. 15 (Jul. 17, 2001), pp. 8189-8195
National Academy of Sciences
Planta, Vol. 221, No. 3 (June 2005), pp. 339-351
American Scientist, Vol. 95, No. 4 (JULY-AUGUST 2007), pp. 294-297
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, Vol. 23, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2015), pp. 187-188
Trustees of Boston University; Trustees of Boston University through its publication Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics
Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Spring 2011), pp. 31-46
Indiana University Press
Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 2 (Summer 2010), pp. 206-234
Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University