Economics has long been referred to as "the dismal science". From Wikipaedia,
It is often stated that Carlyle gave economics the nickname "dismal science" as a response to the late 18th century writings of The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, who grimly predicted that starvation would result as projected population growth exceeded the rate of increase in the food supply. Carlyle did indeed use the word 'dismal' in relation to Malthus' theory in his essay Chartism (1839):
"The controversies on Malthus and the 'Population Principle', 'Preventative Check' and so forth, with which the public ear has been deafened for a long while, are indeed sufficiently mournful. Dreary, stolid, dismal, without hope for this world or the next, is all that of the preventative check and the denial of the preventative check."
My friend, BenS, takes great delight in introducing me to others as "a dismal scientist" with his typical impishness.
And yesterday, Ironman of Political Calculations, wrote,
Economics. The only field of study where dismal is cool....