Dave Barry's Column of 7/8/95

Eric L. Cabot elmo at helix.nih.gov
Tue Jul 11 12:37:21 EST 1995

  Am I alone at being somewhat unhappy about Dave Barry's syndicated
column last Sunday in which he lambasts a developmental
study of Drosophila eye-formation and a biomechanical study of locomotion in

  My co-workers feel that I am  taking this humorist's piece rather
personally and basically have no sense of humor. They contend that
if scientists can't stand up for themselves then they deserve
derision. I, in turn, feel that having a good laugh at the expense of 
scientists may be funny, and Mr. Barry can certainly make almost
anything seem funny, but in this particular instance he may be performing
an outright disservice to society. Considering the risk that 
a rather substantial subset of his readers may not realize that it's
only  a joke, I somehow was not moved to laughter or even a smile.
(I'm assuming here that this isn't a case of yet another journalist
attacking what he doesn't understand).  

  Would it be funny if the same "expose`" had been presented
by Bill Clinton or Newt in pursuit of a political agenda rather
than simply as comic fluffery?  Are there people out there who don't
realize the difference? I'll bet that there are!

  Pro-actively yours,

 Eric Cabot
 elmo at helix.nih.gov

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