Craig Ferguson is executive producer of a television version of Elise Andrews’ hit Facebook page “I F-ing Love Science,” to debut later this year on the Science Channel, and this formerly science-impaired person is thrilled.
There is nothing I love more than when two of my favorite tastes go great together. When I read the news this morning, I was awestruck by what a perfect combination of personalities and content this was, and impressed by the ingenuity of an idea that would simply never have occurred to me. Ferguson — or @craigyferg as he’s known on social media — made the announcement via videotape at SXSW Interactive in Austin this weekend:
“If you know anything about me, you know I love science. Science has a naughty secret — it’s that all things are connected. And this show is going to explore the randomness of science. Think of it as a late night Google search that goes a hundred pages deep until things get weird — and then you just keep going. And there is no better partner for this kind of smart entertainment like Science Channel and Elise.”
When I first started seeing posts shared from Elise’s page a few years back, I didn’t think I’d be interested. It turns out I’ve had some preconceived notions of “science” and how it absolutely could not be interesting or accessible to me. As a words and pictures person with an interest almost solely in languages, writing, and all humanities subjects in school, I had bad memories of biology and chemistry classes in which I’d barely managed C’s. I had a few teachers who actually discouraged my interest in math and science by telling me I just wasn’t good at it. I know I was ultimately responsible for my experience, but the thing is that when people tell you you aren’t good at something when you already believe you aren’t good at it? You start to believe it even more. There isn’t a lot of motivation in that kind of experience for me.
For years I stayed away from any mention of hard science and, certainly, math, because if you want to tap into my fear and anxiety about a subject, let’s talk about algebra. I could figure out how much money I had left in my checking account, calculate a good restaurant tip, and figure out sale prices, but that was it.
Imagine my surprise when people started sharing Elise’s Facebook posts and I enjoyed them. Not only that, but I could understand them, and they were interesting to me. Astronomy, physics, biology, and meteorology facts and concepts presented in manageable bites showed me that what I’d thought of as inaccessible, inscrutable “science” was really everywhere in how I understood the world and things I encountered on a daily basis. It’s easier, now that I’m not being graded and I’m older and more accepting of my strengths and weaknesses, to enjoy a topic that I previously feared. But the deal is that shutting myself off from a category as broad as “science” because of old messaging is not a good idea. It shuts me off from too much of life, so I’m grateful to projects on the Internet — where, let’s face it, I spend a lot of time — to put things in front of me in a new way so I never have to stop learning.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan of I F-ing Love Science, and I’m thrilled to have the concept show up on television, too. There is no word on whether there will be a version like the child-friendly “mirror Facebook page” Science Is Seriously Awesome. Many commenters have expressed concern that Elise will not be hosting, which she confirms, and says she is not interested in doing anyway.
“In just two short years, we’ve amassed a following of ten million people. Via social media alone, we reach FIFTY MILLION PEOPLE A WEEK. With this new venture, we’ll be able to reach million of new people and show them exactly why science is so damn exciting.
To answer the one question I’ve been asked repeatedly since last night: no, I will not be hosting. As much as I appreciate the support, I’m just not an “in front of the camera” person. I’ll be behind the scenes happily producing.”
I’ve been a Craig Ferguson fan for many years, and I cannot wait to see him bring this new concept to life. I’m ready for a weird, late night, scientific Google search with him at the keyboard.
Image credit: Facebook