June 10, 2009

Promoting Science

I've just run across three cool ideas for promoting science:

BoraZ reteweets an interesting story from science writer Mary SpiroRock Stars of Science: Will it hype scientific celebrity and increase research funding? In this Baltimore Science News Examiner story, Spiro writes about a nifty campaign called Rock Stars of Science, pairing actual rock stars like Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Sheryl Crow, Black Eyed Pea will.i.am, and Seal with actual scientists like neuroscientists Ron Petersen, Steven  T. Dekosky, and Sam Gandy. Men's magazine GQ and the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer’s Initiative are working together to create this "promotional" campaign -- which you can download as a pdf. Spiro does a nice job linking the advertising, musicians, and rock star scientists; she also wonders aloud if this kind of project will work.

For younger folks, Linda Braun tweets about a "science-focused kids virtual world" to go along with some science television efforts, "in the name of making science fun." In reviewing the online world, Venture Beat says 
Zula Patrol, on PBS and NBC revolves around aliens who travel from world to world and solve various problems using science. In the virtual world, kids can create an online character, or avatar, and become an alien. They can fly their own spaceships and customize the garages where they park them. They can play mini games within the world that help teach scientific principles, said Deb Manchester, creator of the Zula Patrol. 
Check out the game at ZulaWorld.

And on my own (new) campus at the University of North Carolina, some science majors have started a campus magazine called Carolina Scientific, an undergraduate science magazine.  Their mission is to "produce a scientific publication each semester that focuses on the exciting innovations in science and current UNC research."  Recent articles have covered Sea Turtle Navigation, baby birds in Reproductive Biology & Behavioral Neuroecology: The Sockman Lab, and the International Year of Astronomy. Check out their first issue in pdf (Better yet, pick up a copy of it in th School of Journalism and Mass Communication's Park Library)

Promoting science a little bit at a time!

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