Rose in a test tube

It’s Valentine’s Day, in case you hadn’t noticed, and red roses are the order of the day. To celebrate, we thought we’d run a competition to help you declare your love for science.

The prizes are suitably science-y (not to mention romantic). We’ve got a pendant to give away, with an anatomically-correct heart – four chambers, mammalian, complete with major blood vessels. And for those more into genetics, there’s a pair of his-and-hers chromosome towels monogrammed XY and XX respectively. Plus a DNA pendant – simple but elegant.

What do you have to do to get your hands on these prizes? Just declare your love of science through a poem. You might choose to woo us through a sonnet, ballad, haiku or even a limerick – whatever warms your heart.  Here are some examples to get you inspired:

Roses are red, violets are blue,

We study petal gene expression in situ

The features we can barely see,
Are vital in taxonomy,
And horse fly species, though we swat ‘em,
Are featured with a popstar’s bottom.

Roses are red, Violets are blue,
And you have 10 times more bacteria in your gut
than cells in your body – true.

You have until the end of tomorrow, Friday 15 Feb, to post your poem in the comments field below. Winners will be announced on Monday, once the red roses have wilted.

If you need more inspiration, read about some of the research we’re doing that has real heart.


Update Friday 15 February 5pm AEDT: Alas, our poetry competition is now closed. Thanks for all the fantastic entries, it’s clear you truly do love science.  Keep an eye out for our post on Monday, where we’ll be announcing our winners. 

Prizes - chromosome towels, heart necklace and DNA pendant

Everyone wants to get their hands on these prizes. Be quick and get your poems in!


  1. Each day, before I meet my love,
    (Before I go to greet my love)
    I cuddle my cat and kiss my daughter,
    Bathe in osmotically purified water,
    Shave with Ockham’s sharpest razer,
    Don my skirt, lab boots and blazer,
    Smooth my skin with nanoparticles,
    Check my feeds for break-through articles,
    Set controls and start my trials,
    Update my Procite reference styles,
    Ensure I’m ready, in full compliance
    With the needs of my love: meticulous Science.

    1. Congrats experimental error! You are the proud new owner of a simple but elegant DNA pendant. We’ll email you shortly to let you know how to claim your prize.

  2. S is Semiotic and Seismol-ogeee
    C is for the branch called chem-is-treeee
    I is very very, ichthy & Immuno heavy
    E is more and more
    Engineering & the Environment we adore
    N is nano, nuclear & neurol-ogee
    C is also for cysto and climat-ol-ogeee
    E is Ento, Embryo;
    and of course Endo
    Yes Science was made for you and meeeee

  3. Dark clouds on the horizon
    Their fractal nature makes it hard
    To put these troubles in perspective
    But a ray of brilliant white sunlight shines through

    I turn my face to the warmth, feel the impulse
    Imparted by these tireless travellors,
    Photons of hope, cosmic wanderers;
    And let my eyelashes diffract this ray

    Into a thousand rainbows that glitter
    And dance in my vision, holding on;
    Until that perfect Rayleigh blue scatters
    Through – we are no longer lost creatures

    No, we are children delighting in a soap bubble
    Never suspecting the hidden glories that one day
    They will name: interference, tension, pressure
    For a brief moment, innocent, in harmony –

    No, we are lovers in passionate embrace
    A coupled pendulum system:
    Beautiful, our fates deterministically intertwined
    Yet chaotic, wild, unpredictable –

    No, we are dreamers, artists
    Madmen that pipe the music of the stars
    And like the children of Hamelin
    Electrons, positrons follow to their doom

    To court one another in a death dance
    And annihilate – but the universe is kind
    And a single flash of light shall rise
    Like a phoenix from the ashes

    The beautiful universe is a dynamical system
    And the only constant is change, but
    For our science is for eternity.
    Our love, is our energy that fuels us.

    It cannot be destroyed.

  4. An Enduring Love

    A crueller mistress I’ll never know,
    But from her hand I will not go.
    My love for her, it binds me tight,
    Despite the lack of what seems right.

    I followed each step to the T,
    The experiment should’ve gone perfectly,
    But my devious mistress has challenged me so,
    And into the autoclave my failure will go.

    I’ll attempt it once more,
    Just like the eight times before
    And through the literature I’ll comb
    To find the trick to drive it home.

    Because I will not give up on my love,
    She can push and I can shove,
    But the truth is out there,
    Or in there, somewhere.

    And I will search until I find,
    Within a journal or my own mind,
    A solution to the problems that I face,
    To put theory and practice into their place.

    For the challenge, it may tire me,
    And my love seems bent on irony,
    But for all this knowledge I shall persist,
    Because scientific progress I can not resist.

  5. Roses are red,
    Violets are violet,
    Rhyming is hard,

    1. sides aching now

    2. This MUST be the winner!

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