Science is serious. Science is structured. Science is stiff. And science is boring.
This is how many people think of science when it comes down to the subject. It is common for non-scientists to feel constraint about this field, and I have seen many of my friends cringing reflexively when I tell them that I major in it. Troubles of communicating science seamlessly start with these stereotypes. Although it cannot be denied that some parts of it could be seen serious and structured at times, science is not always hard to understand and is definitely not always about life or death situations. It is a great disappointment to see people refusing to acknowledge science as a part of daily life.
Thus, it got me excited to see science becoming more accessible and approachable through various social media such as facebook, tweeter, industry films, and drams. For example, facebook and tweeter have many webpages that posts 9GAGs and cartoon clips that explain scientific happenings and phenomena in a humourous and eye-catching way, and people often “like” or “re-tweet” these posts to share with their friends and acquaintances. It is also common to see film industry including science scenes within their storylines nowadays. But above all, I believe that the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, which portrays daily lives of 4 scientists and engineer, contributed the most in interpenetrating science to the public and giving science “a sense of being.” It delivers science in the humourous episodes and really contributes in communicating science with the audience in a friendly and fun manner by applying random science facts into comical and easily emphasized situations. It is acting as a bridge between the world of science and the public, which enhances understandings of each other.
The jokes are not always the most brilliant, I admit, but are enough to capture the audiences’ interest. To me, that is a good enough start. For instance, there has been a report that shows there has been a 10 percent increase in a number of students accepted into Physics at universities between 2008-09, which was then The Big Bang Theory first broadcasted. It is evident that this sitcom has successfully sparked the interest of many about science and enhanced its approachability through communicating with the public. Really, who would say no to a bit of scientific humour along with the four lovable characters?
By Sunny Sohn
Sources/credits for images and video:
Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOFjhB62omGJFUUQnCyJhTw by Ronald Borla