Pick a cartoon


The Union of Concerned Scientists has a poll right now — pick your favorite cartoon about the politicization of science. You’ve got 12 to choose from.

Comments

  1. H. Humbert says

    Noonine Singh cryptically posted:

    ATHEISM=EATSHIT

    You do realise that those aren’t anagrams, right?

  2. Mena says

    Sorry, I didn’t like any of them. I don’t know why, they just didn’t seem to be very good.

  3. says

    I sided with #2 as well. It resonates with pretty much every stance the Bush admin has taken in the last 7 years.

  4. fatsparcheesi says

    ATHEISM does, however, equal MEATISH. Ha! Where’s your God now, Noonien Singh?

  5. says

    I went for number 1- the rest weren’t very subtle- do i have a different sense of humour because i’m a Brit? theothers felt like they were knocking you over the head with an obvious fact.

  6. Ray M says

    I initially went for 1 (I’m also a Brit, and liked the humorous touch), but in the end voted for 2.

  7. MikeJ says

    Far too many of the cartoons labeled the bad guy as “government” or “politicians”. Government wasn’t the problem when Clinton was in office, and many politicians are great friends to science.

    The cartoons need to be a bit more specific, and less afraid offending the people they need to offend.

  8. tony says

    Very strange!

    Also British (Scottish to be exact) I agree with Psychodiva & Ray M… #1 is definitely the best of the bunch, although #2 was pretty close… (& too Rey Fox — I think MOST good punchlines have probably been used in the far side at one time or another)

    In general, though, they were all really lame! Is this the best examples of ‘science-based cartoons’ to be found?

    I worry!
    … but not too much… they’re still better than Xian Cartoons!

  9. tony says

    Just read Matt’s comment and I agree wholeheartedly. Most of the cartoons would have much more bite if they savaged a specific politician or commentator… (and not necessarily just Dubya)

    Maybe that’s why we ‘brits’ thought them to be generally lame. We have a history of savage humour (spitting image, and the like).

  10. says

    I think the problem is that when you try to dictate the subject for humor, there’s a war between topicality and actually being funny…and in this case, the judges presumably picked the ones that most bluntly favored their point of view, and bugger the whole business of making anyone laugh.

  11. jufulu, FCD says

    I like #2 and #10, voted for #2. I think you could have changed out the Government dude and replaced him with IDots or creationists with no problems. Good all round cartoon.

  12. Jeff says

    Wow, Union of Concerned Political Scientists is more like it. Talk about a load of Ad Hominem attacks. #6 is the most appropriate, especially for Al Gore.

  13. says

    Ad Hominem? What the fuck are you talking about Jeff? I think you’re getting your rhetorical devices confused. I didn’t see any name calling.

  14. justawriter says

    Yes, I too had problems with using the generic “government” as the enemy of science. My beef is with particular policies advocated by particular individuals. While neither party qualifies as virgins in this area (see Proxmire, William) one party and its leader strikes me as being particularly virulent towards multiple areas of scientific investigation. So I went with #1. And I’m not even a Brit! (As a matter of fact I live just down the road a piece (3 hrs 10 min according to Google Maps) from ol’ Doc Myers.) I feel proud to be included in such company.

  15. Jeff says

    Ad Hominem? What the fuck are you talking about Jeff? I think you’re getting your rhetorical devices confused. I didn’t see any name calling.

    You didn’t see any specific name-calling in #9, such as “inept cronies”, “Scion of gas-powered toy car empire”. And pretty much anything relating to the gov’t in these is ad hominem, attacking the “man” and not the issue.

  16. says

    I liked #4 and #10 – they were the only ones I found genuinely funny (egads – I’m British and I didn’t like #1. No punch to it).

    Mind you, I agree with theophylact (@21)- the Tony Auth cartoon is much better.

    Bob

  17. MartinC says

    They were all crap.
    Quite frankly I’d be embarrassed to have any of those used as an example of scientific humor.

  18. wrg says

    Although it’s blatant “me too”, I’m inclined to agree with (non-Jeff) criticism of the pieces. If one would rather make a clear point than be humorous, there are many tales that could be told in prose. At least the quality would have to fall several more notches to approach fundy humour, including the classic creationist punchline “Millions of years!”

    (In case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t seen them come up with a setup that somehow makes that phrase funny.)

  19. woozy says

    #3.

    It was straight forward and very clear. Only science that gives the approved and expected answers will be listened to regardless of what the true answer might be.

  20. woozy says

    Oh… and

    ATHEISM = EAT SHIM

    (I gues its ATHEIST = EAT SHIT. Except when on earth are permutations supposed to be equal?)

  21. Dianne says

    I picked #4, probably because I’ve spent far too much time talking to drug reps lately, though I kind of liked #1 as well. Most of the rest suffered from being too obvious or too preachy.

  22. AaronInSanDiego says

    Number 9, Number 9…

    Well, actually none of them were very good.

    In response to the criticism that these are attacking the “man”, and not the issue – The issue, in this case, is the “man”, and his manipulation of science to support his political agenda. I’m probably thinking of a different man than Jeff is, however.

  23. woozy(no. 3! no. 3! no... okay none were *terrific* but .... says

    Doesn’t “ad hominem” personal attacks require an actual person being attacked. And doesn’t it require attacking personally on grounds not pertaining to the validity of their reasoning. Claiming the “scions of gas corporations” and “inept cronies” are ad hominem attacks when they aren’t specific people and when the argument is that “inept cronies” and “scions” will be in charge of policies, “inept cronies” and “scions” don’t evading the argument; they *are* the argument.

    Now if you had said “broad generalizations” and “simple cliches” or “knee-jerk assumptions without thought” you’d have a case.

    I however feel if the shoe fits…

  24. woozy(no. 3! no. 3! no... okay none were *terrific* but .... says

    Doesn’t “ad hominem” personal attacks require an actual person being attacked. And doesn’t it require attacking personally on grounds not pertaining to the validity of their reasoning. Claiming the “scions of gas corporations” and “inept cronies” are ad hominem attacks when they aren’t specific people and when the argument is that “inept cronies” and “scions” will be in charge of policies, “inept cronies” and “scions” don’t evading the argument; they *are* the argument.

    Now if you had said “broad generalizations” and “simple cliches” or “knee-jerk assumptions without thought” you’d have a case.

    I however feel if the shoe fits…

  25. says

    I agree with all the others who are puzzled that nothing better could be found. (Did anybody look through Doonesbury?)

    Of those on offer, I would go for #4, as black humour appeals to me. It is probably too subtle for most of the American public to understand though.

  26. says

    I chose #2, although I agree with those who found the collection less than stellar. #2 would be improved if “Fed. Govt.” were replaced by “Bush Admin.” It’s not like the federal government is automatically against the truth (at least, not to the astonishing degree with see today).

  27. says

    “with see today”

    Oops! I meant “we see today”.

    My incompetence approaches Bushian levels.

    Remember,the answer is 42, not 43.

  28. David Marjanović says

    Number 9, 11, and 12 are not bad (the last panel in no. 9, and the fact that the presenter in it looks like Raygun, though that clearly wasn’t intended).

    The “science expelled” cartoon is better, though.

    The “Ancestors” cartoon, however, is close to incomprehensible.

  29. David Marjanović says

    Number 9, 11, and 12 are not bad (the last panel in no. 9, and the fact that the presenter in it looks like Raygun, though that clearly wasn’t intended).

    The “science expelled” cartoon is better, though.

    The “Ancestors” cartoon, however, is close to incomprehensible.

  30. says

    well, if you read the parameters of the contest, you’d see that it’s not as if the union of concerned scientists went out and searched for cartoons and then asked you to vote on the ones they found.

    no, people volunteered their own work to this contest. ergo, trudeau and auth obviously aren’t included because they didn’t submit. in fact, trudeau was one of the judges that chose the final cartoons from the preliminary submissions.

    and, i must guess, and probably quite reasonably, too, that scientists who draw cartoons are probably not so good at one or the other…

    that being said, #11 made me laugh out loud. true, some of them were clumsy in their lack of subtlety, but i’ve certainly seen worse political cartooning (eg, day by day).

    if you read

  31. tony says

    Woozy

    I seem to recall that permutations are indeed equal in number theory, but only under specific conditions… But I’m likely wrong — it took me a couple of tries to get through ‘numb’er theory (despite being a computer scientist — I couldn’t cope with multiple pages of axioms!)

    I’m sure a pure mathemetician will set us right!

  32. Suze says

    Why is science always portrayed as a little mousey female? It’s a bit disturbing to me for some reason. Anyway, last panel of #9.

  33. says

    There are lots of systems for which AB = BA; just think ordinary multiplication. There are also lots where it isn’t, like, say, multiplication of matrices.