Last month, a group of mathematicians grabbed headlines with their mathematical model of the zombie apocalypse. But as one science journalist notes, such studies are more than amusing academic anecdotes; they can actually serve a very legitimate social interest.
Patrick J. Kiger, a journalist and blogger for the Science Channel, has been criticized for focusing on technologies in his column Is This a Good Idea? that currently exist only in the realm of speculative fiction. To answer those critics, Kiger looks at the recent study by mathematicians in Ottawa as to the best response to a zombie outbreak. What good, Kiger asks, is it to study a phenomenon that we know does not actually exist?