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Science Comics

June 16, 2017

Communicating about science through comics.



Scientist Jason McDermott finds humor in the process of scientific peer review. (Jason McDermott/@redpenblackpen)


Comic science. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Jason McDermott is a serious scientist who sifts through mountains of data to gain better insights into disease at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. But to communicate about science with fellow scientists and the public, he often creates…comics. He writes in Science magazine about how comics help him express the challenges and frustrations of the scientific process with humor.

JASON McDERMOTT (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory):

I found that visually communicating ideas in comic form seemed to give a really nice way that I can communicate some complicated idea and distill it down to something that everyone can recognize. It helps me focus how I communicate to everyone.  


And while he doesn’t consider himself a great artist, he says a well-executed stick figure can be enough to tell a story. You can follow McDermott’s science comics at RedPenBlackPen on twitter and Facebook. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard


Jason McDermott created a comic about the writing process. (Jason McDermott/@redpenblackpen)