How to be kool

Martin Robbins alerts us to a new exciting red-hot totally hip yeeha thing where scientists get their pitchas taken with rappers and everybody suddenly understands how rad science is.

So here we are again, witnessing the isochronal cavalcade of embarrassment that is GQ’s annual ‘Rock Stars of Science‘ feature. Like a puppy trying to hump a leg, the idea is simple, and probably a bit wrong.

The concept arises from the tedious modern worship of even the most minor celebrities, paired with the idea that standing next to somebody cool can make you cool – a hypothesis comprehensively debunked by Tony Blair in 1997. From that, GQ extrapolate that making scientists pose awkwardly in the background of photos of rock stars, like morons in the background of a news report, is a great way to promote science and scientists.

You have to click on it and look at his pictures, which I can’t be bothered to steal and put here, but you need to see them to get the full hilarity.

His real point though is that it’s bullshit. Science really is exciting, and it’s not because scientists can stand in the same frame as a rapper.

I still can’t help but feel that if you have to resort to rockstars make science cool, you’re really not very good at communicating science. Because science is way cooler than rock stars. And if you still don’t believe me, here’s a picture of the Sun. Taken at night. Through the Earth.

I do believe him.

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