Is Science is making a comeback?!

We’ve posted frequently about the decline in public support for science over the past several years. One reason for this decline is that the general public just doesn’t understand science or finds it boring (let’s be real, we’ve all have that dreadful chemistry/physics/biology/etc professor). Another reason is due to the current trend of dismissing facts and evidence-based decision making.

The scientific community has been trying to combat this by working to improve science communication in many ways. And seems like some of this hard work has paid off? Is Science (slowly beginning to) making a comeback with the general public?! Here are THREE examples why I think science is on the up and up:

Bill Nye is BACK! Bill Nye, our favorite science guy (tied with Neil deGrasse Tyson), is coming back with a Netflix series called Bill Nye Saves the World. I CANNOT WAIT. This series will feature celebrities and highlight some important topics in science today (climate change, health, etc). From what I can tell, it seems like “Bill Nye the Science Guy” but made for adults. This type of public-oriented science show is EXACTLY what science needs. A way to inspire and demonstrate cool science while also informing about the principles of how research is done and how scientists draw conclusions.

Magic School Bus is ALSO back! And thankgawd. The new series “The Magic School Bus: Rides Again” will debut on Netflix later this year. This was absolutely my favorite show as a little kid, and it’s incredibly important that the future generation receives a strong foundation in science. As a plus, our favorite SNL star Kate McKinnon will voice Mrs. Frizzle.

Dan Rather and the Science Communication Lab. I love it when non-scientists in positions of fame advocate for science. Dan Rather is doing just that. He is collaborating with iBiology to bring science to the general public. In his statement:

I have a deep curiosity about the mysteries of life, and an unwavering respect for the women and men expanding the horizons of knowledge, and I am collaborating with a nonprofit science communication group called IBiology to extend their mission from the professional science community to you, the general public. We’re calling this effort the Science Communication Lab.

We will be announcing future projects soon, including a feature-length documentary on which we have just begun production. For all the importance of politics these days, we would do well to remember that there is a larger world that can fill us with wonder and awe.

I am really looking forward to all three of these efforts to expand science to the general public!

The Ten Craziest Things Cells Do – Wallace Marshall (UCSF)

Dr. Marshall refutes the commonly held idea that cells are just bags of watery enzymes. He runs through his “Top 10 List” of unexpected and amazing things that individual cells can do. These including growing to be huge, navigating mazes, and performing feats that seem to belong in science fiction.

Share your science, win some money!!

iBiology, in conjunction with the Lasker Foundation and the Alan Alda center for communicating science is hosting a Young Scientist Seminar competition:

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iBiology, which generally features research talks by well-known senior scientists, is expanding its focus to highlight the work of outstanding young scientists. PhD candidates or postdocs with an interesting research story and good presentation skills are encouraged to apply. Four winners will attend a two-day workshop at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, a leading organization in training scientists to give effective talks. After this training, the selected scientists will record their 30-minute talks in a green screen studio. The talks will be posted on iBiology.org as part of a new Young Scientist Seminar Series. For young scientists, this is a unique opportunity to showcase your work!

Great opportunity to showcase scientific work and improve science communication skills! Deadline is February 1st.