Cartooning science misuses

Union of Concerned Scientists online visitors pick their favorite cartoon to headline a 2008 calendar

Alison McCook
Jul 30, 2007
A scientist sits at her bench, a microscope at hand. Behind her, five balding men in scruffy suits crouch together, peering over her shoulder. One wears the label "govt." The researcher tilts her eyes back. "'Scuse me fellows -- but you're blocking the light."This drawing, by Matthew Shultz of Brooklyn, NY, is one of the 12 winning cartoons that address the government's misuse of science, presented in the Union of Concerned Scientists' 2008 calendar. Cartoons are a natural tool to demonstrate misuse of science, says Michael Halpern, outreach coordinator for the scientific integrity program at UCS. There are "numerous professional cartoons on political interference in science, just because it's an absurd practice that's easy to lampoon through cartoons." In the second annual contest, the organization received approximately 400 entries from artists who heard about the contest through the UCS network (150,000 strong), or invitations posted on art blogs and...

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