“If you have any interest in understanding the world, looking at how people amuse themselves is a really good way to start.”
- Johanna Blakely, TED Conference
“I didn’t set out with the intention to do science outreach as much as I set out with the intention to make cool things and tell weird stories and often do that with sound, because sound is really cool and you can do stuff, and hearing someone’s voice is sort of this great experience where you can actually feel like you connect with them. And I think it’s a great way for science because often you sort of see the findings but you don’t hear about the scientists, and so hearing their voices and being able to do interesting cool things with sound was what drew me to podcasting. And then also because I am a huge science nerd, I do science podcasting now.”
- Rose Eveleth on science podcasting
“When people look at [the Curiosity Rover landing], it looks crazy. That’s a very natural thing. Sometimes when we look at it, it looks crazy. It is the result of reasoned engineering and thought. But it still looks crazy.”
- Adam Steltzner, “Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror”
“Science is showing up in lots of different places. It’s showing up in kids’ punk rock bands! … Not only that, but bands themselves… they’re using science as performance art… using science as a prop!”
- Ira Flatow, “Science is Sexy”
“We have locked out people who have the brilliance to move us out of the rut we’ve been in, and we don’t embrace them, we don’t bring them in. And then we cry about the fact that we’re doing so poorly, we cry about the fact that California has over a million science technology engineering and mathematics jobs and we can’t fill them. And at the same time we’re pushing kids out of the classroom… I do this because it’s important, it’s necessary. And because we have no other options.”
- Christopher Emdin
“I’m definitely not the quintessential best scientist in the world by any stretch of the imagination. But I’m interested in it. At the end of the day, science is sort of just a way of thinking. And with all of the global challenges that are out in front of us – climate change, needing to vaccinate our children, energy problems – we need people to be engaged in science to make the right decisions to move forward. That doesn’t mean they have to become a scientist, but just to have some enthusiasm and engagement and interest in it will have a huge impact on the region going forward.”
- Kishore Hari, on the Bay Area Science Festival
“If we don’t give these young people coming up the hope that there are other ways, and most importantly, the awareness that those other ways are up to them to invent and to experiment with, then it’s kind of sad… because whenever any one way becomes the way, I think that’s a dangerous thing.”
- Maria Popova, “TOC 2013″
“Sometimes I worry that science communication is just preaching to the choir, speaking to the converted. Social media gives us an amazing opportunity to reach new people. All those people who were turned off of science at school, because of a poor curriculum, or bad teachers or parents who just didn’t see that it’s important – we can show them that they should want to learn, not because they have to but because this stuff is fucking cool. We’ve got a second chance to capture them.”
- Elise Andrew, “I Fucking Love Science“
“The place of science is right alongside the other aspects of culture that we consider indispensable. We consider literature, music, theater, film, dance, performance, all of these aspects of life we consider indispensable parts of our cultural makeup. If you were to go to people and say, ‘We have decided to eliminate films’, ‘We have decided to eliminate literature’, it would be unthinkable. And I think that’s the way we need to think about science. It is a vital part of culture, it is a vital part of what makes life worth living.”
- Brian Greene, “The Multiverse as a Block of Swiss Cheese”
“A lot of times, [scientists' tattoos] tell amazing stories. For example, there is a neurologist who sent me a tattoo she has of a special kind of neuron. It’s a neuron that is vulnerable in Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which her father suffered from. And actually, her father suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease was what made her a neurologist. So this is not just some random tattoo. This is actually speaking to this deep passion that drives her science. And I like showing these [tattoos] on my blog because I want people to understand that scientists are very passionate people. I mean after all, if you think about it, they dedicate their lives to studying things like neurons, or tapeworms, or chemicals, and they’re very often not getting very much money for it at all. So it’s interesting to get into their minds, and one of the ways to get into their minds is to look at their tattoos.”
- Carl Zimmer, “Big Think Interview with Carl Zimmer”
“Multimedia is a critical component of journalism today, and is only going to grow in importance in the future. To be a young writer you need to be able to tell stories in a variety of ways.”
- Erin Podolak, “Scientific American: Introducing Erin Podolak“
AVC: The tone is credulous but skeptical. How do you describe the balance?
JA: We’re not trying to be experts. If we don’t know something, we don’t know it openly.
RK: We decided early on that the people we were going to be talking to would usually be smarter than us, certainly more pedigreed, and not used to being yanked on. We wanted to say to listeners, “When topics like this come up and you are curious, you are allowed to cross-examine and interrogate.” Science is as important as anything else that goes on in the culture, if not more so. And it should be explored with energy.
Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad, “AV Club Interview“
“I think the magic of TED talks, and the reason many, many people want to watch them, is that they’re building in an emotional component. This is a big lesson for people who want to do science communication, or any sort of communication: you’ve got to engage the audience at some deeper level, you can’t just give a recitation of facts. In the storytelling world we make a strong distinction between a story and an anecdote. An anecdote is something that happened. A story is something that happened and it meant something, it changed you. What I think we find is that a lot of what’s going on in science communication is more anecdote-ish. We haven’t conveyed why it matters and who changed.”
Ben Lillie, “Curator Interview: Ben Lillie on Science and the Storytelling Revival“
“We’re never going to have enough astronomers. We need this vision of the future where it’s a proper partnership between those of us who get paid to do this, and those of us who do this for the love of it. Actually when I put it like that, it doesn’t sound very good, does it? That was supposed to be the big inspiring moment. The point is that the universe is a big place, and we’re going to need your help to explore it. And so my contention is, that if you really want to understand why the universe is accelerating… then we’re going to need your help.”
- Chris Lintott, “Chris Lintott on The Galaxy Zoo"