Vancouver Science World Video Banned From TV

Communicating science in an entertaining way generally means you end up walking on some fine lines. Within a microsecond of difference in delivery, a good science joke quickly turns to a bad cheesy gag. Making science just a little bit more sexy than it may be in reality may turn people on to science, but it might also turn a show with a ton of potential to demonstrate the scientific process into a show that is almost entirely about explosions (I’m talking about Mythbusters).

Science World at TELUS World of Science in Vancouver (which I shall henceforth refer to as simply ‘Science World’) made a video ad that is a tight-rope act on that fine line.  Titled ‘Positively Painful’, it was, apparently, banned from TV by the CRTC for being too violent. That said, check it out!

Still not sure exactly how I feel about the video. On the one hand, science really doesn’t need to be made so graphic that it gets banned from TV. Plus you kind of get the idea that the message is ‘idiots feel less pain and are invincible’… since, well, I mean, he steps out in front of a bus and gets shot by a flaming arrow, and survives.. My main concern with this video is that in fictionalizing science to this degree, you lose almost all of the scientific and educational value.

But, on the other hand, this 2-day-old video currently has 9,477 views. That is more than any of the 25 other videos that Science World has posted in the last 5 months. In fact, it is more than all of them combined. Some of them, like this one, are really great, but have only been seen by a few hundred people. That high-viewership has to be worth something to science, right? If it makes people talk more about science and science communication, isn’t that in some way better than having them just talking about Justin Bieber, and watching cat videos?

What do you think about this video? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Sing About Poo, Make News

A few years ago, I never would have guessed I’d be doing a science thesis about making electricity from agricultural wastes, or that I’d be recording a music video about it, let alone that it would make any news. Well, that is what ended up happening. In a well written article found in the Waterloo Record and the Guelph Mercury, Barbara Aggerholm summarized my journey from the Arts into the Sciences, as well as some of my views on science communication.