In this strip Black Hat plays the idiot manager who is incapable of thinking for himself and yet feels compelled to judge and influence the lives of people who can.
As youngsters Cueball an Megan are shy as a result of bullying and exploitation by children who care more about muscles and popularity than brains and hard work. Black Hat is a grown-up bully who interprets their behavior as symptoms of a serious disorder.
As they mature Cuball and Megan begin to notice each other more and eventually they discover their sexuality. Black Hat insists that he intervene because idiots in the “twittersphere” object. By banning all good-humored response to immaturity, sensuality, and even love, Black Hat guarantees scientists must work in an environment hostile to their development as humans.
This strip appears to be inspired by the events surrounding career advice offered in Science Magazine by respected scientist, Alice Huang, to a young female who wanted to know how she might react to a male colleague who was taking an interest in her breasts. Dr. Huang suggested that the world wasn’t fair and that she treat the situation with good humor. However, responding to public outcry (typically expressed in 140 bytes or less), management pulled the article, saying: “We regret that the article had not undergone proper editorial review prior to posting.” Details can be found here.
The final comment by Megan appears to refer to the fact that Science Magazine is now managed by the same people who sold Newsweek for a dollar but who were not offered jobs by the new owner.
Do you know a person, or institution, that just won’t go away and that is doing science and scientists more harm than good?
If so, please nominate them for the prestigious Planck’s Constant Prize.