Justin Bieber, Game of Thrones, World Cup Soccer, and… Science? We need fans too!!

What do Justin Bieber, Game of Thrones, and The 2014 World Cup all have in common?  They all have die hard fans or supporters.  Fans who will camp out for tickets, cancel Sunday night plans, skip work, follow on twitter and facebook, buy paraphenlia, and essentially sacrifice a part of their daily (weekly? monthly?) schedules to dedicate their time, energy, and money.  Sports teams, TV shows, movies, celebrities, etc, they all “make it” (quite successfully) thanks to their faithful and loyal fans.

Which brings me to my point: science needs fans too!  Sure, we may not capture the hearts of teenagers thanks to our sex appeal, and we certainly cannot provide the thrill of scoring 5 goals against Spain (I see you, Netherlands), but hey! We got a little somethin’ somethin’ too!

As you may have seen in my previous post, the public trusts scientists and accepts their data… yet there is a disconnect when it comes to how we vote and the policies we support when it comes to scientific issues.  Turns out it’s a matter of the implications of the science, and specifically how the scientific evidence influences our values and lifestyle choices.  Unfortunately, strong scientific evidence is sometimes not enough for us to completely modify our values and lifestyle choices.

So then, what do we do?

One idea brought up by panelists at ComSciCon (my post here) is that we don’t need to convince society that the data are real, we need to convince them that they are COOL!  To be “popular” and for policy-makers to favor decisions supporting science, we needs admirers, supporters, and fans!  For example, when the Star Wars trilogy first came out (I’m talkin Episode IV-VI), NASA got a huge boost in funding and support.  It’s not enough to just accept science, we, as a society, need to admire it.

And there is a lot to admire.  Let me share with you just a few examples of why science IS cool:

Radio Lab: Super Cool

The Inner Life of the Cell

Why a soccer ball spins

Double Tornado!

David Bowie meets Chris Hadfield: “Space Oddity” from the International Space Station


Got other ideas or examples of how science is cool?  Let us know and we’ll showcase it! Contact us by email: CauseScience1@gmail.com; twitter: @CauseScience1; or facebook: https://www.facebook.com/causescience1

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