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Rock Stars of Science? Not Cool.

bill nye the science guy

Bill Nye, the original rock star of science.

Can you name one living scientist?  Besides Bill Nye the Science Guy?  What about your kids?  Can they do it?  No?  Well, you are not alone.

According to a Research America poll, half of the general public would be stumped if asked the same question.  But while our collective ignorance about science and the men and women who work in that profession isn’t all that surprising, those in the science community are worried about it.

Believing that science suffers from an image problem, Rock Stars of Science has recruited actual rock stars to appear alongside scientists in a print ad campaign aimed at making kids think science is cool.  But will the message actually reach its target audience?

Science is cool and I am all for encouraging kids to learn more about what’s happening in the science community.  But I fear the ad campaign is going to fall far short of its goal to interest kids in the subject. Premiering in December’s GQ magazine, the ads feature rock stars that are likely as unkown to most kids as the scientists with whom they are posing.

Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Poison’s Bret Michaels and Timbaland are great and all, but their music won’t be found on the average kid’s iPod.  And GQ magazine?  What an odd place to put ads aimed at children.

If kids get anything at all out of this campaign, it probably won’t be what the Rock Stars of Science people are hoping.  Rather than realize that it’s cool, they may decide that science is about old people you’ve never heard of doing stuff you don’t care about.

I have a better idea for getting kids interested in science:  Bring Bill Nye the Science Guy back to television.  He doesn’t need to pose with rock stars to be cool because he is rock-star cool all by himself.

Image: Bill Nye

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