Do you love science? Would you marry it?! If you live in one of the 34 states where belief in science is prohibited by constitutional amendment (read: Texas, Oklahoma, and the ilk), we feel your frustration. But there is hope! Following last night’s world television premiere of Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey, a 13-part miniseries dedicated to illuminating the mysteries of the universe to us laymen, comes word from South by Southwest Interactive that I F*ckin Love Science (IFLS), the hipster Facebook page with 10.7 million likes, is making the jump from social media to traditional media. In partnership with The Science Channel, IFLS will produce, beginning in late 2014, its own 60-minute television program exploring the randomness, as well as hilarity, of science. Think Wes Anderson meets biology textbook; or Seth Rogen meets Physics 101.
For science nerds, this is epic news. Science has always been the bastard child of American public education, terrorizing students and, by extension, their parents with science fairs and projects that are designed to elicit wonder but succeed most at eliciting anxiety. And who can blame them? All a career in science has to offer people is salaries in the 10th percentile, and the chance at curing cancer, discovering new energy sources, or saving the globe from devastating climate change. Better to stick with the science people respond to: science fiction. People love Gravity the movie, but hate gravity the natural phenomenon. They love Wall-E, but hate recycling. Love Avatar; hate environmental protections. And scientists themselves, never the sexiest crowd, have failed miserably at righting the ship.
Enter IFLS. If you aren’t a personal follower of I F*cking Love Science’s Facebook page, chances are at least half of your friends are. In less than two years the page accumulated more followers than there are residents of the bottom 43 states. (Forty-nine, if you count the territories and D.C.) This is all the more stunning considering its origins. Singularly created and managed by blogger (and non-scientist) Elise Andrew, the page is a populist stream of quirky photos, infographics, memes and links dedicated to the “lighter side of science.” In other words, it took a social media manager to popularize science for the masses. Go figure, right?
It might by vulgar, but ILFS is a perfect vehicle to spread the message that science matters, today more than ever. Between IFLS and Cosmos, science is sexy again. Let’s just hope sexy never goes back.
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Absolutely great post. I love science but I am not crazy with the movie Avatar. I love the law of gravity most days. I love genesis and how in the world it will all pan out. I do wish you would speak Spanish but it is not more important than how proud I am of you. Mom once cured herself of some disease drinking cabbage juice ever single day for a month or so. I believe their is a cure for every single thing that ails us in the light of his word of guidance.