Do not mess with chemistry professors

They are fast. And they will get you.

According to the ChemistryBlog, that's Owen Priest, Ph.D., of Northwestern University, taking down that chicken.

(Thanks, Aaron Rowe!)


  1. I’m surprised Prof Priest waited as long as he did. Is there a clip where he comes back triumphantly displaying the “chicken”‘s head?

    It was also very thoughtful of him to take off his wireless mic. I’ve lost count of how many packs I’ve had to fix due to presenter-chicken battles.

  2. He moves quickly, but inefficiently. If he had just swung his legs over the bench, instead of jumping on top of it and then down, he could’ve caught the chicken in the room.

    Maybe it’s a chemist thing, being so obsessed with intermediate steps and such as they tend to be…

  3. I was involved in a few classroom pranks, usually a bit more complexly scripted than this one, and deliberately scheduled for times when they wouldn’t disrupt anything important. Sometimes it’s pre-arranged, or — if you know the professor’s a good sport about such things — you may be able to get away with a quiet “give me a minute, then chase me out” passed as the chicken walked past him.

    And, yeah, I’d at least give the professor a few feathers to clutch or wear as he returns to the class. He’s been kind about letting you play; the least you can do is let him take some of the applause.

    1. This particular prank wasn’t scripted at all. From what I know, the most information the professor was provided with was that a prank would possibly occur at some point in the future. The student did it to raise money for a Northwestern University charity event.

  4. As a student of Dr. Priest (“OPP”), this was not out of character, though it was definitely staged. Kids played off his notorious temper often. My favorite was the day he told a student to “get the hell out of his classroom” for leaning her head against another student’s shoulder and wouldn’t resume lecture until she had left the room.

    Interestingly, this is the man in charge of our university’s annual drag show.

  5. As someone who attended NU and had to deal with this guy, I distinctly recall him chasing a student out of that lecture hall after his cellphone went off during class. He chased the guy into a bathroom stall and scared the living crap out of him. His temper is legendary.

  6. I don’t think he was particularly quick, I just think he was chasing a guy in a full body chicken suit.

  7. The Prof should’ve dragged the guy back in by the neck–how often does one get to choke a chicken in class?

  8. At first the reaction is slow. Beyond a certain point, you will be able to witness a rapid reaction.

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