“An XKCD comic — and its many remixes — perfectly captures the absurdity of academic research,” writes the Atlantic (in an article shared by Slashdot reader shanen).
It argues that the cartoon “captured the attention of scientists — and inspired many to create versions specific to their own disciplines. Together, these became a global, interdisciplinary conversation about the nature of modern research practices.”
It depicts a taxonomy of the 12 “Types of Scientific Paper,” presented in a grid. “The immune system is at it again,” one paper’s title reads. “My colleague is wrong and I can finally prove it,” declares another. The gag reveals how research literature, when stripped of its jargon, is just as susceptible to repetition, triviality, pandering, and pettiness as other forms of communication. The cartoon’s childlike simplicity, though, seemed to offer cover for scientists to critique and celebrate their work at the same time…
Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/axLC8juFPx0/does-xkcds-cartoon-show-how-scientific-publishing-is-a-joke