We have a winner!

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Time to call a winner!

We in The Crastina Crew are delighted to present the 41 entries of the Science Haiku Competition. Now we must select winners across two different categories: a public vote, and a jury’s selection. All the entries are presented below!

Category 1: The People’s Poet

Vox populi – the voice of the people! The rules are simple: one individual – one vote. Apart from that, everyone is allowed to campaign shamelessly for their favorite entries. (People affiliated with Crastina, as well as the poets themselves can also vote, as long as they just vote once.)

From the rules: “Please note that we are not purists when it comes to the right number of syllables, etc.; we will gladly accept whatever your high-school teachers accepted as a haiku.”

Submit your vote!

The voting is open until Wednesday, 17 July, 23:59. 

PS The name of this category comes from one of our project leader’s favorite tv shows (R.I.P. Rik Mayall)

Final notes

  1. Remember the ”One individual – one vote” in the People’s Poet category. It is probably possible to outsmart the voting system, but please don’t.
  2. Please let us all see this as a promotion for science poetry, and have a laidback attitude towards the competitive dimension. Everyone below is a winner!

Here they are, our 41 amazing science haikus

To put the focus on the poetry, and not on the wordsmith, the poems are presented anonymously on this page during the voting process. Some notes are added where a context may be needed to understand the poem. (If you are eager to learn who the authors were, you can find their names on the original competition page.)


I dive in darkness,
sink down to the deep sea bed
to find pearls of light.


As matter of fact
In most concerns and matters
Location matters

(“My entrance is based on my 16 years of working with geographical data and analysis.”)


continuum mechanics
and topology

provides physics with
all-embracing descriptions
by de Rham currents.


Human enamel
Growing slower and thinner
Milk and fish to blame

(Bioarchaeology Ph.D. student working with modern human teeth.)


Activity probe
LOX is trapped with the probe, boom!
Enzyme detected


A sleepness lab night
the petri dish infected
by the crumbs of KFC


The lab stinks
and the field bites;
embrace the bioinformatics


The Avengers Civil war but full of shit.
Who’s the good guy, who’s the bad?
It takes guts to find out!

(Ph.D. student in Immunology focused on Mucosal inflammation.)


Wiping the dark cloth
aside on the glass over
the Silver Book page

(Codex Argenteus [Silverbibeln / ’The Silver Book’] at Uppsala University Library: What does a young student from a foreign country do on a sunny afternoon in a country of the midnight sun?)


At the forest foot
welling, flickering light
of purest water


Hazards and humans
Emergency Management
Needs evidence base


Reviewer two wrote:
“Not a cutting-edge research”
Seems efforts don’t count

(Here is one from personal experience, which I think many of us can relate to.)


Cancer is clever,
Immune system is smarter,
Let’s boost this killer


Toads are missing ears??
Lost and found over again
Evolving next door

(… one thing our lab studies is how some closely related toads lost ears and then regained them in some cases, and we can’t tell why.)


Climate change is here
Towards carbon storage we steer
Will it be enough, I fear

(I’m doing my Ph.D. in geomechanics of carbon storage.)


Arsenic in the Andes hides
Can human natives thrive?
Adapted they surely are!

(Ph.D. candidate studying arsenic in the South American Andes from a geneticist perspective.)


Found any gold yet?
And then his sheepdog steals
the humerus

A thousand and two hundred years old
still the scapulas
of a little child

(Ph.D. at Department of Scandinavian languages and literature)


Cells stuck in young state
Mature them to wrap neurons
Regrow myelin


Prenatal mosaic
Each cell unique together
Develop their fates

(My group and I study how small genetic changes starting in one cell after fertilization can lead to congenital malformations. When cells have a slightly divergent genetic makeup from one another in the same organism, we call that “mosaic”.)


Ecology has
rules; who lives where and why, that
microbes may defy


Microbes in small ponds
produce and consume methane
but which dominates?


on a mountain top
against odds of random drift
plant adaptation


A microbe’s defense
In ultraviolet presence?
Floral fluorescence.

(I study petal bacterial UV tolerance in relation to UV patterns in flowers.)


A bat flaps away.
Where are you, tagged animal?

(I’m studying flying fox movements for conservation in the tropics.)


These pickup artists
Think sex is a marketplace
They keep suffering

(My research interests are gender, sexuality, and, specifically, masculinities and masculine internet subcultures.)


You can not buy love
It is an experience
Not a transaction

(My research interests are gender, sexuality, and, specifically, masculinities and masculine internet subcultures.)


Global warming leading to climate change!
Save the planet with ocean microbes,
Agulhas Current hard at work.

(Ph.D. candidate specializing in Marine Biogeochemistry, using nitrogen isotopes to explore how a surface oceanic current enhances carbon export potential.)


Leaves fall like manna
Intercepted and held in
Secret compost piles

(This haiku highlights litter-trapping plants, funnel-shaped plants that trap leaf litter and extract nutrients from it.)


Salvia’s small seeds
Blown by wind or washed by rain
Disperse to new sites

(I do work with seed dispersal of Salvia.)


Large seeds germinate
Small seeds stay dormant longer

(I work with Salvia roemeriana, which produces two kinds of fruits that differ in size, dormancy, and dispersal ability.)


Wandering T cell
Redirected to attack
Finds a new purpose

(I’m a cancer researcher developing immune therapies to target childhood cancers.)


Light shines on the heart
Photons trigger the muscle
Human heart beats on

(I am a science and technology communicator focusing on photonics.)


Twelve false shooting stars
Record reflections of light
But how right are they?

Uncertainties combined
Untangled through more equations
The errors come to light.

(In my research we are analysing the uncertainty of climate data records from satellite Earth observations.)


In stench of sulphur
microbes can exhale methane.
“Is there life on Mars?”

(The aim of my research is investigating gas production in Martian analogues on Earth, growing microorganisms in Martian simulated brine.)


Blood sugar rising,
My lifeline begins changing,
I’m growing, but why?

(I’m researching the effect of temporal glucose fluctuations on placental and fetal growth in pregnancies affected by gestational diabetes.)


Smartphone in every hand
Apps for every ailment
None ever so helpful

(I’m a Ph.D. candidate researching the effectiveness of smartphone health apps and their potential to be used in clinical practice.)


in A T C G
your laughter

Fulldome Festival
thoughts feel out
the event horizon

between two cells
the connection
I’m looking for

( … biological technical assistant in Theoretical and Applied Biodiversity …)


Pain. Blot clot. Inflammation.
Stem cells sense, repair.

Wound inflammation
Maybe more than pain, does it
help regenerate?

Smash! Injury. Pain.
Needs fast regeneration
Who tells the stem cells?

(I’m investigating the mechanisms and effects of immune-cell-stem-cell-communication in wound repair and tissue regeneration.)


ceasefire agreement –
honeybees returning home
loaded with pollen


sunflower field
shedding light
on dark matter


Humans drink antibiotics like cups of tea,
Bacteria flush it out like a bad memory,
The key to this resistance is to burst open their Outer membrane protein treasury.

(I work on proteins that regulate outer membrane lipopolysaccharide in Vibrio cholerae.)

# …

you should really
be a contestant
next time we organize this

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