What I want to see in Science Communication on the internet.

So I've been thinking about public science engagement.  Specifically, popularising science to young adults online.

FYI, European Commission, this ain't how it's done.

 (Srsly, forget about the blatant sexism in this video, where are the rainbow laser unicorns?!)

Ok, as everyone knows, the internet is made of unicorns, rainbows, bacon and cats.  The more these things are combined, the more awesome they are considered.

On the internet science is also awesome.  Sort of.  Einstein doing things other than science, science t-shirt fashion, science memes, and this guy from nasa...

So science seems popular on the internet, but I always got the feeling the image is more important than the content. The idea of science is cool, intriguing symbols, apparatus, white lab coat, eccentric personalities, other science cliche etc.  This stuff is everywhere. Yet, when it comes to online science content with mass (or translated to web, 'viral') appeal to young adults, not so much.  How can science institutions capitalise on this apparent popularity to provide entertaining and engaging science content?

Don't get me wrong, there is stuff out there, great stuff. Jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing Epic Science Stuff. However, there is the potential for so much more...

So, I feel like writing a series on it.  Kind of.

I want to analyse what science stuff is out there that I know of, why I think it's awesome and in some cases why it isn't quite as popular as I think it deserves to be.
I think talking about science should be fun, and I want to identify what could be described as 'gaps in the market' for some irreverent, silly but thoroughly captivating online science content. So I'll also be looking at hilarious online examples from other subjects such as history or politics, and see if any of those techniques can be incorporated into making science stuff that's not only engaging (some more than others!) but ultimately hilarious.

So, erm, I'mma get on that now.

The Final Countdown! *Dadada Da...ad nauseam*

Hiatus Update:

Research is complete, awesome!  Now, need to wait and see what I actually graduate with. Hopefully a first as predicted.. I really don't fancy reconsidering my professional/academic career now!

In the mean time, I need to find out from all the (lovely, really appreciated, etc) contributors if I can actually publish my work here so anyone reading this will know why I've been mostly awol for the best part of five months...yeah.

Currently I'm formulating a proposal for what hopefully will be accepted as a PhD in Science Communication, but more on that later...now it's time to get a job. Studies take up time and money, and experience is a must to get your head above the crowd or so somebody important told me..I think it was my dad.

So normal service will resume shortly, hopefully with a lot more relevant sci-comm content, not necessarily TV related, but just because my head is just overflowing with it!  Sooo much to question, pose, discuss, evaluate...exciting stuff!
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Fire In The Blood/Q&A Dylan Mohan Gray

I am seriously bummed that I can't attend this event tonight. Don't be a fool like me, and go to this.

An intricate tale of monopoly, medicine and mass murder- Fire In The Blood looks at how Western governments, acting on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for developing countries in the late 1990s, causing ten million or more unnecessary deaths. It also documents the struggle, of a committed group, who decided to fight back. Contributors include Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Joseph Stiglitz. Dr. Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science, and Guardian journalist and Dr. Yusuf Hamied, chairman of pioneering Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla will be joining director Dylan Mohan Gray for a post-screening discussion.

Fire In The Blood/Q&A Dylan Mohan Gray Advised 16
Curzon Soho, Screen 1
Date and time:
Tuesday 26 Jun, 18:20
Book your tickets now, before this sells out. It will sell out.

The Secret History of Our Streets: Caledonian Road

Interestingly the BBC have made my home street an episode in the on-going series; 'The Secret History of Our Streets'.  Unsurprisingly, the first word uttered by a Cally local after the episode introduction is "Twats".

Still, it is fascinating to discover the history of my somewhat dodgy high street.  Apparently it involves an abattoir at one end, what appeared to be the heart of the London sex trade at the other, and though those things may have passed, the enduring central institute of a massive prison, still chugging along in the middle.  I can see why Cally Rd might prefer its colourful history kept 'secret.'

There are remnants still visible, a conspicuously never open '24 hr spa' known as 'Pleasure Garden' still operates down Cally Road, Pentonville Prison still pops up in wannabe Guy Ritchie films, and the abattoir may be long gone, but my local stomping ground is far from perfect yet.  I love the fact that characters I interact with frequently, and some well-known neighbourhood personalities are featured in this cute doc.  Makes me feel a bit more connected to my rather tawdry little strip of London, and I love it still.

Available on BBC iPlayer here, and on repeat next Tuesday at 11.50pm BBC2.

Indie Game: The Movie- Now available to buy!

 Remember this poster?

I've talked about this film before. Click here to download or view online for $9.99.

I'll review soon once I have a little more time! 

The girl can't help it..

I promised myself I wouldn't post anything until I'd finished my thesis, hence the hiatus, but this is too good not to mention..

Documentary Networking Party: Distribution

In anticipation of this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest, the biggest event in the UK's documentary calendar, the Frontline Club is hosting a networking party for documentary filmmakers and those working in distribution and production.

With drinks sponsored by Chivas Regal, the party will pause at 7.30pm for a short panel discussion on how you can get your documentary distributed and how to get the most out of an industry festival like Sheffield.
Moderated by Charlotte Cook, Director of Programming at HotDocs.

Nick Fraser, Editor of Storyville, the BBC's documentary strand.

Mette Hoffmann Meyer, Head of Documentary at Danish broadcasting corporation DR.

Lucas Ochoa, Head of Film at Pulse Films.
June 11th, 2012 7:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
13 Norfolk Place
London, xLON W2 1QJ
United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7479 8940
Standard Rate £ 20.00
Concessions - students/seniors £ 15.00

My favourite cinemas in London: Part Four - The Grindhouse

This notorious indie flicker house really needs no introduction, least of all from little ole' me, so I'll hand it over to cult movie genius Tarantino. Dubbing it the "Queen's jewel" of grindhouse, "it is everything an independent movie theatre should be. For lovers of quality films, this is Mecca"; He is not wrong.

I've actually been sent messages asking me if I'd forgotten to mention this place.  As if I could.  So, obviously, and inevitably...
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My favourite cinemas in London: Part Three - The Mainstream

Delicious and nutritious?  Quite.

There are so many big films coming out this summer that I'm desperate to see...Prometheus, Cabin in the Woods, Whedon's Avengers, Ted, The Dictator, Burton's Dark Shadows is out next week...the list goes on.  Proper cinema fodder. 

With films like the above, an art-house cave just won't cut it I'm afraid.  I need massive screens, epic sound, and unfeasibly large buckets of popcorn.  Oh, I know that they'll be texting teenagers, muffled conversations and sticky floors throughout, but I don't mind; there really is no better way to see a blockbuster.

What irks me about mainstream London cinema chains is that the ticket prices are prohibitively expensive to a recession battered 'gradult' like myself. Well, prohibitive in the sense that I can't go as often as I'd like, and if we're to believe this guy (which we should), it's only going to get worse as we'll soon be paying more for 2D screenings in order to eliminate the 3D ticket surcharge. Also, considering that the other cinemas I frequent are so much richer in terms of comfort and general experience, I must admit to harbouring a special resentment toward to Vues and Odeons out there, forcing me to pay almost double for in my opinion, a lacklustre experience at best. 

So Cineworld, I choose you.
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My favourite cinemas in London: Part Deux - The Art-house

Sometimes I need to watch a film in silence.  There are some films that require concentration, contemplation and an atmosphere that fosters focus. Generally, these films are showing at Curzon cinemas, and luckily, my favourite spot for watching exactly this sort of film happens to be a Curzon venue;  The Renoir.
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My favourite cinemas in London: Part One - The Local

Being a bona fide lover of all things cinematic, I have my favourite flicker haunts, as every movie buff should... No, your living room with the lights out doesn't count!

In London, generally people would consider Leicester Square as being the cinema mecca, and I don't disagree.  If you can get to early screenings, or lucky enough to cadge some premiere tickets, it is certainly the place to be.  However, there are some other silver screen jewels hidden around London, especially for those who of us like to dip our toes into the art-house pool, midnight cult sing-a-longs or the acquired taste of world feature docs.

This April has been thoroughly miserable, a complete wash-out, which I find utterly bemusing as we're apparently in drought at the moment. If ever there was a time for escapism in London, it's now.  We've also got the jubilee and the Olympics coming up in the next few months, which means that come June, this city will be packed!  I don't handle crowds particularly well, so while the streets teem with tourists this summer, I'll be found hiding in one of these little gems!
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Frontline Club - THIRD PARTY SCREENING: From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad

This subject is very close to my heart and a must-see for any London documentary lovers with an interest in middle eastern politics, especially regarding recent spats between Israel and Iran.
Book your tickets here.