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Science, Science Fiction, and Humor

  • By: Will Noonan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

It is easy to categorize science as a quintessentially serious activity, but humor offers an unexpectedly useful framework for reflecting on the scientific method and discourse and for charting the role of science in wider society. Just as humor has become a fruitful and increasingly respectable field for both hard and social sciences, science and science fiction illustrate the nexus between humor, creativity, and discovery developed in Arthur Koestler’s 1964 theory of bisociation. Far beyond the jokes used by teachers and researchers to lighten the presentation of dense information, humor offers a standpoint from which to scrutinize the assumptions of rationalist logic and to approach new problems and paradigms in creative ways. The annual Ig Nobel prize, awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research ...

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