The Playful


(And Where to Find One)

Call me crazy, but just don’t call me mad.

By Saul Griffith

This month, I’ve been ranting to everyone I know about the term “mad scientist.” I don’t like it. I feel like it is used to trivialize logical, rational thought and to undermine scientific results and the wonderful pursuits carefully adding to the sum total of human knowledge.

My friends tell me that I might be a little overboard on this one, and that “mad scientist” is a playful satire or fictional stereotype. They then argue that rather than a campaign against the use of “mad scientist,” I should encourage its reclamation in the same way the gay community has reclaimed “queer” as a positive term.

“Playful scientist,” I say, would ...

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