Science, the esteemed global magazine of cutting-edge research, has an unlikely cover star this week.
Banksy’s Bethnal Green flower adorns the hallowed page with the following explanation:
An example of "art" by self-styled guerrilla artist Banksy, as seen in East London in November 2007. Human behavior that would be characterized as antisocial punishment can also be called art; prosocial institutions, most notably the campaign Keep Britain Tidy, refer to Banksy's work as vandalism.
Odd choice in an issue that also reports on the modelling of a black hole event horizon using fibre optics, a new ring system around a moon of Saturn and coiled-coil irregularities and instabilities in Group A Streptococcus M1. OK, that last one’s not so exciting.
Getting on the front cover of Science is a career-making event for researchers who achieve it. We will watch Banksy’s academic progress with interest. Perhaps he’s working on spray-on solar cells.
Look out for next week’s cover of Nature, which is plastered in Tox08.