Scientist proposes marriage through a journal paper

A few days ago, the amusing ways in which some men proposed to their girlfriends were telecast by America’s Funniest Video show. Now a scientist has found a more strange and scholarly route to propose to his girlfriend.

In a paper published in the reputable journal Current Biology on June 4, Caleb M. Brown, the first author from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada, proposed to his girlfriend in his journal paper. The proposal is buried at the very end of the acknowledgement section of the paper.

The proposal reads: “C.M.B. would specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O’Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?”

Retraction Watch, a watch guard website that spots and turns the spotlight on all forms of scientific misconduct in published journal papers had recently spotted this saying: “It’s the first time we’ve come across such an unusual acknowledgement. The question is: Will she say yes?”

The outcome of the proposal too was confirmed in a rather unusual way even as Retraction Watch reached out to the author to know the result.

Writing in a news item published in the journal Science, Michael Balter confirmed Lorna as accepting the proposal. “At its very end, the lead author asks a fellow researcher at the museum to marry him. (After seeing a preprint, she has already said yes.),” he wrote.

“A spokesperson for Cell Press, the publisher of Current Biology, said the publisher is on board with the move: Current Biology is aware of the proposal and we are wishing the very best for the couple. I checked with several editors and this is a first for Current Biology as well as Cell Press,” Retraction Watch said.

The comments posted on the Retraction Watch website are equally amusing. “I have to say I am glad that the paper didn’t take years to go through the system and the author didn’t have to wait too long to pop the question,” noted one reader.

Published in the Hindu on June 11, 2015