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Tag: Humor

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Walt Kelly

This post was written by Leslie K. Overstreet, Curator of Natural-History Rare Books.

Walt Kelly, famed field naturalist of the Okeefenokee Swamp, was born on Aug.25, 1913.

He first revealed Okeefenokee’s extraordinary zoological community to the world in 1949.  It included an alligator, turtle, owl, porcupine, skunk, three bats, even worms on occasion, and various others.  Contrary to basic scientific protocols, Kelly tended to personalize, even anthropomorphize, his research subjects: He named them, for example, and published a series of illustrations of their behavior and interactions that ran in newspapers nationwide for decades. 

Satirical Science Journals

Dopeia CoverQuite often scientists are pegged as a very studious and serious group of individuals.  In order for serious scientific research to be developed, nurtured and shared, this is a valid assumption.  And scientists are very serious about their journals; either as a vehicle for getting their original research out to fellow scientists or in consulting other published material in their discipline (or other disciplines).  However, every great now and then you come across evidence of some not-so-serious ‘published’ work that shows an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek side to scientists.  I would like to share some examples I found in the Smithsonian Libraries Vertebrate Zoology collections.