Mar. 16, 2011

Science Rocks: Science for the People

by Leslie Taylor

Video by NIMBioS

Aspiring songwriters, is there a power ballad about solar power, or a love song about love bugs that you've been longing to write? Have you ever considered a residency at a science institute?

In this video, RB Morris performs his song "Science for the People," which he composed during his time as a Songwriter-in-Residence at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. The lyrics are:

Now I must be a common man
Cause it’s quite common to depend
Every day on technology
That I really don’t comprehend
Like my laptop, my car, my TV
I got this new phone you should see
You name it, I use it
But I can’t produce it
I need scientists to do that for me

Science for the people
That’s science for the people right now
Science for the people
That’s science for the people right now

Now I can drive a car
I can even change a tire
But if they were waiting until
I invented the wheel
We’d still be sitting ‘round the fire
Hey but I got all the news and sports
One click I got the weather reports
I can watch movies all day
My own private matinee
But hey I’m lucky just to work the remote


Yeah I could probably use some self-help
But I know how to feed myself
I just walk out the door
Cruise down to the store
And find the food on the shelf
And now I’m not ever alone
I’m in constant touch with this phone
But if it’d been left up to me
We’d still be climbing up a tree
And have to shout out at the top of my lungs


Bird flu, swine flu, malaria
Small pox, polio, the plague
From HIV to mad cow disease
It’s a wonder we’re not already dead
And next time some plague comes knocking
Some virus that’s never been known
And starts killing us all
Tell me who you gonna call
To nip it in the bud?


Now when all the scientists bring in all of their data
From the fieldwork and the test tubes and the skies
And they spell it all out
And it’s beyond any doubt
Who’s gonna say that’s all lies?
Got to be ignorance or money
Some money someone wants to control
And that’s all fine
Except for the lying
And what you do to the world


For more information about the Songwriter-in-Residence program at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), visit

About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is the online editor at and She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be. She is also Science Friday's former web editor.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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