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How many scientists does it take to change a light bulb?

How many scientists does it take to change a light bulb?

By Dr. Geoff Halsey
London University, UK.


The age-old question to which I’ve collected up, through various sources on the Internet and in books, a list of some of the more interesting answers. Although I cannot take credit for all the answers, the collating is all my own work.


So, how many scientists does it take to change a light bulb?



Mathematicians:
None. It’s left to the reader as an exercise.

Theoretical physicists:
Eleven. One does the job, ten join as co-authors.

Nuclear engineers:
One to install the bulb and six to figure out what to do with the old bulb for the next ten thousand years.

Astronomers:
There is no need to change the bulb. Astronomers prefer darkness.

Radioastronomers:
They are not interested in this range of wavelength.

According to Einstein:
Two. One to hold the bulb, the other one to turn the Universe.

Statisticians:
One, give or take two (It depends on the size of the bulb).

Microsoft engineers:
Two. One to change the bulb, the other to close any windows.

Apple engineers:
Seven. One to change the bulb, six to design t-shirts and new gadgets.

Programmers:
None - that’s a hardware problem.

Russian military scientists:
It’s top secret.

NASA engineers:
Seventy seven. First of all, they need a week in advance to plan the bulb replacement operation. Once they are ready, the weather is bad and they have to postpone the mission for a next week. The bulb costs $3,000,000.

Aerospace engineers
None. It’s not rocket science you know.

Archaeologists:
Three. One to change the bulb, two to discuss how long the old one was hanging there.

Darwinists:
One, but it takes 8 million years.

Psychologists:
Do you want to talk about this?

Undergraduates:
None “Bright light - hurts... must go back to bed”.

Postgraduates:
Funding for a new lightbulb ran out six months ago - will have to borrow from their parents.

Research technicians:
One, but it’ll probably take him/her three or four tries to get it right.

Post-doctoral fellows:
One, but it’ll probably take three or four tries to get it right because he/she will probably give it to the technician to do.

Senior researchers:
Five. One to change the light bulb, and four to argue about whether they’re taking the right approach to changing the bulb.

Industry/commercial scientists:
“I’m sorry, changing light bulbs is not in my objectives for this year. If you speak to my line manager we can see about getting it factored in for next year”.

Freudian analysts:
Two. One to change the light bulb, and one to hold the breasts, I mean ladder.


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29 Apr 2010
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