Critical perspectives on the Dr. Science archetype

Timothy A Bennett-Huxtable, Anthony D Feig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A tide of antipathy against science has emerged in American society in the latter<br>half of the 2010s. Much of this populism is directed at scientists who study climate<br>change, the environment, and evolution, among other fields. At the same time,<br>universities and colleges have moved to a corporate model that emphasizes revenue<br>generation over so-called “pure” knowledge creation. Universities have also shifted to<br>prioritize business schools and certain applied (e.g., biomedical) sciences, at the<br>expense of more descriptive sciences and the humanities.<br>In popular culture, a common response to perceived negative news and social<br>trends is comedy and satire. Vignettes such as Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend<br>Update” provide pointed social commentary through applied humor. This video article<br>presents performances and analysis of comedy with a geoscience theme. This<br>“geocomedy” is a deliberate response to anti-scientism directed at Earth/environmental<br>science, as well as its marginalization in K-16 education. Background on relevant<br>scientific concepts is provided in the context of best practices in comedy performance.<br>The “Dr. Science” archetype is explored and deconstructed as both a cause of and a<br>remediation for negative misconceptions of science.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTransformative Dialogs
StateIn preparation - 1800


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