Students in the science communication masters programme at the Imperial College of London have created a video (Science Nation Army) that has gone modestly viral. From the Feb. 23, 2012 posting by Anna Perman on the Guardian Science blogs,
This week, a video made by myself and three friends from the science communications masters course at Imperial College went viral. Not “Fenton the dog” viral, but trending on YouTube (316,000 hits and counting), a spot on CBS News blog, in the Sun newspaper and a teeny-tiny snippet in the Guardian’s own G2 (too tiny even for a link). The video shows us recreating Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes, using as our instruments the tools lying around in a lab at Imperial, and some “creative” editing techniques.
We did this to communicate science. And it seems to have worked.
Here’s the video,
It is part of a larger project, a multimedia blog developed by these students, Inside Knowledge: The Student Blog for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) blog network. More from Perman about the project,
A year ago, the four of us [Anna Perman, Ben Good, Lizzie Crouch, and David Robertson] started working with the research group at Imperial’s Blast lab (now part of the Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies) to make a multimedia blog for the PLoS blog network about their work. It wasn’t an easy journey. The lab includes military personnel, has links to the ministry of defence and works with human tissue, so getting permission to film and write about their research was no mean feat.
In our film we tried to convey the entire experience of science, from the tedium of sitting with a lab book, to the excitement of their explosive experiments.
We also wanted to get people to think about the lab environment not as somewhere scary and alien, but somewhere accessible, and most importantly, somewhere fun to work.
This particular video was to show the variety of people who must work harmoniously to conduct a piece of scientific research. Just like a band in which a group with different talents create something more than the sum of its parts, a research group like Blast contains a diversity of doctors, mechanical engineers and biophysicists.
There are two groups working on The Student Blog, the group from the UK’s Imperial College of London (Inside Knowledge) and a second group from Stanford University in the US called Science, Upstream (Jamie Hansen and Julia James). I find the project a little confusing as I don’t see any postings after Sept. 2011 for Inside Knowledge and Science, Upstream, which seems to have a separate space on the PLoS website, doesn’t feature any postings after April 2011.
Still, I like the idea of the video and of communicating science in as many ways and in as many venues as possible. Oh, and I really enjoyed the Science Nation Army.
Tags: Anna Perman, Ben Good, Blast lab, David Robertson, Imperial College of London, Inside Knowledge, Inside Knowledge: The Student Blog, Jamie Hansen, Julia James, Lizzie Crouch, PLoS, Public Library of Science, Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies, Science Nation Army, Science Upstream, Stanford University, White Stripes