A long history of medical satire

Dara O’Briain is one of my favourite comedians and he frequently deals with science issues in his stand up routines. A mathematics and theoretical physics graduate, he is also the host of the BBC programmes Dara O’Briain’s Science Club and School of Hard Sums. These programmes educate viewers about maths, physics, chemistry and biology through a series of silly brainteasers and conundrums. As comedy shows they try to change the way that people think about science by making them laugh.

However, taking a light-hearted look at scientific ideas is not new and historical examples of cartoons and caricatures making fun of bad science abound. In particular, medical practitioners viewed as quack doctors – like Dara’s homeopaths – have long been a target of satirists. To read about the various ways that medical practitioners have been lampooned throughout history, check out this amusing post by Dr Mark Bryant.


Tweets from scientists of the past

Most science communicators agree that Twitter can be a great way to share science news. But have you ever wondered what your feed would look like if Twitter had been around at the time of great scientific discoveries throughout history? Here is an amusing post by Dean Burnett of the Guardian about what scientists from the past would have shared on their social media platforms. If you’d like to read more, there is a follow up article here.