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We need Oddballs not Lunatics

Attack of the Dream Stealers!
When I can’t find a suitable image, I go to the Pulp-O-Mizer

Flipping through back issues of BioScience to see what’s now free access, I found an interesting editorial, Oddball Science: Why Studies of Unusual Evolutionary Phenomena Are Crucial.

Science funding decisions are increasingly at risk of becoming politicized, and reductions in basic science funding are often justified as eliminating wasteful government spending.

It’s apt in the UK at the moment as cuts are a hot topic for the general election here, though science less so.

The examples it highlights, like snail sex, are easy to mock if you don’t know anything about the research, but Brennan et al. make the point that it’s actually the weirdness of what is studied that can make it easier to learn something. If extreme conditions highlight new questions, then it seems we need more oddballs not less.

Alun Salt

Alun (he/him) is the Producer for Botany One. It's his job to keep the server running. He's not a botanist, but started running into them on a regular basis while working on writing modules for an Interdisciplinary Science course and, later, helping teach mathematics to Biologists. His degrees are in archaeology and ancient history.

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