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Is This Science Journalism? Nah. Then What Is It?

Apr 11, 2013

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Reported by

Robert Krulwich

Journalism may not be the right word for this. It's a kind of reporting. What you see here is true, and carefully edited.

It's not art, though the images are sharp and concentrated.

It's more than advertising, (though that's its purpose) because it is telling you something abstract and true about the world, like a lesson.

It's not education. It's too sassy, too clever. Too beautiful.

Here's what it is: it's ad agency Rethink Canada's poster campaign for Science World, a not-for-profit science and technology center in British Columbia. It's an invitation to come and visit.

Here's what it also is: In a cluttered, noisy world with so many distractions, it's yet another way to stop people in the middle of their day and make them say, "Really?" Science intimidates people. Yet we're all curious. The sly goal here is to poke folks with a good question, and then say, "You want to know the answer?" We who are doing this, we reporters, we animators, we science teachers, we bloggers, we artists, we museum managers, we research scientists, we copywriters — we don't do what we do to speak to the Already Informed. We are doing this to tap ordinary, everyday people on their heads, people who might not have the time or the inclination, and say to them, "spend a few minutes over here, mulling this ..."

If we do it right, they'll come to us, hang out, and come again.

That's the goal. That's all we want.

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