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Tour Through Library Databases Reveals A Funny Thing About Science

About Science Science is the study of that which is odd, unusual, peculiar, suspicious, or curious. In a word: funny. Therefore, science-and scientists-cannot help being amusing, absurd, jocular, whimsical, comical, entertaining, diverting, capricious, droll. In a word: funny. Can this be documented? Yes. Anything can be documented. For this project, I teamed up with Michael Rissinger, a research librarian at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. Rissinger

Marc Abrahams

About Science Science is the study of that which is odd, unusual, peculiar, suspicious, or curious. In a word: funny. Therefore, science-and scientists-cannot help being amusing, absurd, jocular, whimsical, comical, entertaining, diverting, capricious, droll. In a word: funny.

Can this be documented? Yes. Anything can be documented.

For this project, I teamed up with Michael Rissinger, a research librarian at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. Rissinger and I dug up, and into, some fresh mounds of data. We searched a few databases for articles and books involving the combination of science and humor. We limited our investigation to intentional humor, leaving the other sort for another day, or at least for a few paragraphs farther down the page here.

We began our search with the Online Union Catalog issued by Dublin, Ohio-based Online Computer and Library Catalog (OCLC), a database of...

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