Teabagging in the Name of Science

Political teabagging and sexual teabagging have attracted lots of controversy recently, but a lesser-known variety — research teabagging — has much to recommend it.

In case you have not encountered the word “teabagging”, here’s some linguistic background. Political teabagging takes its name from a twisted, angry dip into American/British history: the “Boston Tea Party” anti-tax protest of 1773, while sexual teabagging involves dipping one particular body part into another, a bit like a teabag is dipped in a mug.

Research teabagging, in contrast, confronts rather different matters – using teabags to explore scientific and medical questions….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

BONUS (June 11, 2010): Political teabagging innovation