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Biological Sciences Division

June 2017

McDermott's ‘Two Selves’

Jason McDermott

In his day job, senior research scientist Jason McDermott is a busy and productive computational biologist with years of papers to his credit.

He also pursues an avocation as the science cartoonist, blogger, tweeter, and humorist RedPen BlackPen. What he calls "the pleasures of my two pursuits" snagged him a "Working Life" feature in Science magazine. Aptly, it is titled "Drawing Connections."

"By blending my two identities, I hope to be able to bring some of the outreach power of comics to my science, and some of the weight of my scientific work to my comics," wrote McDermott. "I am a scientist who draws, I have decided, and I am at peace with my two selves."

In the feature, he also alluded to a comic-style poster he presented at a recent conference in San Francisco. Since May, the poster ("Big Data Land") has been on display in various PNNL venues.

In an audio companion piece to the Science feature, McDermott also got some air time in a "Science Update" podcast.

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