Is it cool to be a geek these days? Well it sure seems to be. This year there have been several new initiatives to engage people with science and engineering. This week saw one Guardian blogger, Alok Jha, discussing the subject of science’s return as a form of entertainment. Science Club on BBC 2 seems almost like a Top Gear for science judging by the format, it will be interesting to see how it is received.
I agree with Jha that Prof Brian Cox and Ben Goldacre have paved a way for us all to follow (men and women alike). Through pioneers such as Cox and Goldacre, science has moved out of the lab onto the TV and into the theatres. I was extremely lucky to The Lost Lectures back in May and the end of year Lost Lectures finale includes Ben Goldacre as a speaker and tickets are like gold dust.
Unfortunately the Find an Expert search from the BBC has highlighted the lack of female experts in these type of fields. This is something the recently launched Little Miss Geek initiative has been launched to encourage women to embrace being a geek and increase the numbers of women working in the technology industry. I know it took me a while to admit it, never mind be proud of it but I am a total geek.
Communication is vital as a researcher these days (see my previous post). Unfortunately a lack of clear communicate landed Italian geophysicists in jail recently, further highlighting the importance of communication in all our careers. But good, clear communication takes practice. So why not get involved in FameLab or one of the other engagement initiatives? Great research is only great research if you can tell people about it.
While you might not be eligible for the BBC call for experts (if you are a guy, girls get applying) but there are loads of public engagement opportunities around right now. From RAEng to FameLab, to contributing to the Little Miss Geek blog, trying out the three minute thesis and if you can get a ticket I’d thoroughly recommend a trip to The Lost Lectures in 2013.