When and how to use comedy in your science presentations

Over at Science Careers a self proclaimed scientist/comedian Adam Ruben discusses why he used humor in science.

“Blah blah citric acid cycle blah blah succinic dehydrogenase blah blah DOONESBURY CARTOON blah blah pyruvate.”

More importantly, he discusses when he stopped.

“My adviser never outright said so, but I knew what he was thinking: You had time to make the goat picture, but you didn’t have time to improve the actual science? I wanted to explain that, in the same way that people who are full can still eat dessert and claim it’s destined for “a different stomach,” science-improving and goat-Photoshopping were not mutually exclusive activities, but I didn’t think it would bolster my cause.”

He also ends on a somewhat sobering note:

“Just don’t use humor in grant applications. There’s no need—scientific funding is already a joke.”

Worth thinking about for sure!

Read more of his column Experimental Errors!

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