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[Writer Post] Science as Entertainment

Posted by reudaly on March 30, 2017 in Podcast/Media, Writing |

We had a highly “cultured” weekend this past weekend. Two cultural events made Monday a challenge, but it was awesome. And it got me to thinking…which may be a different kind of challenge.

First was Intergalactic Nemesis: Robot Planet Rising. This was the second installment of the Live Action Comic Book series that Jessica Reisman was part of developing. I love this because it’s like an old fashioned radio drama with multi-media elements – a great combo of Old and New technology. And come on, who doesn’t love a good melodrama?

Also got to know the sound guy, because our seats were RIGHT THERE. Networked a bit with him – as you do – because that kind of thing happens when you least expect it. May never hear from him again, or we might. Never know. But you don’t blow off opportunities something will happen when you least expect it.

The second thing was Brain Candy Live! at the Majestic Theatre. The show was beyond amazing and thought provoking. This is a science entertainment with Adam Savage (Mythbusters) and Michael Stevens (Vsauce). The line to get into the theater went half way around the building (thank goodness for assigned seats) for a sold out show.

Let that sink in. A SCIENCE SHOW was SOLD OUT. The audience was seriously all ages from 5-6 year olds to over 60 year olds amazed by AIR PRESSURE. And for the record, apparently there’s no such thing as SUCK – especially not in this show. Oh, and vortex cannons are SO AWESOME!

But that’s what got me thinking. Science as Entertainment. When did it really become a THING? I mean there were always kind of kids shows based on science (even before Bill Nye the Science Guy). But it wasn’t like THIS. Where did this come from? I actually said if I’d been able to experience this as a kid, maybe I would’ve been more interested in science.

I didn’t know there was a career called “science communicator” until I started listening to podcasts. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a pop culture ICON now. We have sitcoms about physicists with an actual Neuroscience PhD in it. One of my coworkers asked a question about SOMETHING I don’t remember but was something that MYTHBUSTERS did a segment on and could talk about.

And I know Tyson and Savage are not that much older than me. I know my generation was highly influenced by the Moon Landings as kids but there is and was a shift away from that. If there weren’t we wouldn’t be having STEM and STEAM pushes to get kids involved in science and “Maker” culture. But what turned MY generation into a set of people that decided to turn Science into Pop Culture? To make it ENTERTAINING? It’s FANTASTIC, but the part of my brain that asks questions wants to know WHEN, WHERE, HOW, WHY? Yup, journalistic/communicator/storyteller part of me always asks the questions. Anyone know? Sound off in the comments.

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