Ten simple rules for drawing scientific comics
Publication Date
January 04, 2018
Journal
PLOS Computational Biology
Authors
Jason E. McDermott, Matthew Partridge & Yana Bromberg
Volume
14
Issue
1
Pages
e1005845
DOI
https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005845
Publisher URL
http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1005845
Scopus
85040939987
Mendeley
http://www.mendeley.com/research/ten-simple-rules-drawing-scientific-comics
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Mendeley | Further Information

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This drive for engage-ment is crucial to both helping recruit the next generation of scientist and highlighting the impact and role science has in public life. It also has a role in peer-to-peer communication and wider dissemination of ideas throughout the community. Technology has greatly helped expand the range of teaching styles that a lecturer can call on to reach more people in new ways. Social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr have expanded the reach of science communication within and across scientific disciplines and to the lay public [1, 3]. These new communication channels seem to support endless innovations in the devel-opment of videos, interactive quizzes, and instant feedback. Yet they are also providing a plat-form for a renaissance of one of the simplest and most effective methods for communicating ideas—comics. There are few scientists who haven't heard of Randall Munroe, the artist behind the web comic \" xkcd \" [4], which features amazing graphic explanations on everything from climate change [5] to data storage [6]. These comics are widely appealing to a diverse audience and are posted on walls in laboratories and pubs alike. The ideas that they explain are complicated, but by simplifying them down to the core messages and by providing simple visual analogies, the comics educate and engage the groups that other media cannot always reach. A comic is generally an illustration that employs metaphor and/or storytelling to clearly communicate an idea to a broad audience. Comics often employ humor, but their narratives can be exclusively informational in nature or can deal with nonhumorous topics. Comics can take multiple forms, from the single panel one-liner, to multiple panels, to graphic novels that span multiple pages. There are a number of science-and academic-oriented comics in circula-tion, including xkcd, PHD [7], and the authors' own Errant Science [8] and RedPen/BlackPen [9]. An effective comic can communicate difficult ideas efficiently, illuminate obscure concepts, and create a metaphor that can be much more memorable than a straightforward description of the concept itself. Comics can be used to punctuate presentations or journal publications [10–12] to increase impact. In public health education, comics have long been recognized as an effective tool for reaching lots of different populations for education on subjects like cancer [13], fitness [14], and diabetes [15], to name only a few. 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Scopus | Further Information

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