FUN: Still Life, With Test Tube

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Science  10 Mar 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5766, pp. 1353
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5766.1353e

The dearth of well-rounded scientific characters in the arts and popular culture provided one inspiration for LabLit. Jennifer Rohn, a London-based microbiology Ph.D., edits the Web magazine and writes some of the content. The title refers to realistic fiction about scientists at work and to Rohn's hope to shed light on “a largely unknown or obscure world … the culture of science.”

To illuminate that world, Rohn posts everything from reviews of science-themed plays and novels to a profile of an ex—Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician whose company offers advice to screenwriters. In one “Lab Rats” feature, a postdoc writes up his anecdotal evidence that “My specialty is neuroscience” isn't such a bad a pickup line. The LabLit List tallies movies, books, plays, and TV shows that pass the reality test. It's longer than you might expect and includes works by writers such as Tom Stoppard and Barbara Kingsolver.

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