News FocusProfile: Jim Toomey

LOL and a Touch of Science, Too

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Science  06 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6090, pp. 28-29
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6090.28

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"Science is hard to make funny," admits cartoonist Jim Toomey. "And I don't want to be known as the guy with science predictably in the story line." Despite those caveats, the former mechanical engineer has repeatedly used his popular comic strip, Sherman's Lagoon, to champion marine conservation. One favorite topic is the Census of Marine Life, a decadal effort by scientists to catalog the diversity of life in the oceans. But Toomey, whose strip appears in 150 U.S. newspapers and 25 other papers around the world, has found a way to present the issue without violating the first rule of cartooning: Keep it light.