ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Scientists as rock stars?

They pose with famous musicians to excite the public about science, but not everyone thinks it's working

Amy Maxmen
Flip open the next issue of GQ, and you'll find a full-page photograph of the classic rock band Heart beside Nobel laureates Elizabeth Blackburn and Phillip Sharp, equally decked out in rocker fashion. It's one image from a 6-page spread of rock stars mingling with scientists in the men's magazine with some 7 million readers, intended to help seal the growing gap between science and the public.
Joan Massagué, Craig B. Thompson, and Charles L. Sawyers of MSKCC with American singer-songwriter Debbie Harry (Blondie)
But some are less than optimistic. "If you are operating under the illusion that all scientists run around with pens and slide rulers in their lab coat pockets, then this campaign will say no, scientists look like ordinary people," said Jon Miller, director of the International Center for the Advancement of Scientific Literacy at Michigan State University. "But if you expect to ignite popular support...
Frank M. Longo, Stanford; Michael W. Weiner, UCSF; and Eric M. Reiman, Banner Alzheimer's Institute with Reality TV star and Poison legend Bret Michaels
Bernard A. Harris, Jr, The Harris Foundation, and Mehmet C. Oz, Columbia University, with pop stars Timbaland and Keri Hilson
Geraldine Dawson, Autism Speaks; Catriona Jamieson, UCSD; Emil Kakkis, Kakkis EveryLife Foundation; Rear Admiral Susan J. Blumenthal, Former US Assistant Surgeon General; and Frank L. Douglas, Austen BioInnovation Institute, with British singer-songwriter and rapper Jay Sean
Phillip A. Sharp, MIT, and Elizabeth H. Blackburn, UCSF, with Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson
Stephen B. Baylin, JHU Medical, and Mehmet Toner, Harvard Medical School, with rapper B.o.B
Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future



Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT