The Academy’s collaboration with the Gladstone Institutes, Brilliant!Science: Decoding Human Health, ended last week with a sold-out event at the Herbst Theatre featuring Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor in conversation with Thomas Goetz. In fact, all of the events that were part of Brilliant!Science were highly attended, including the art mingle at the Intersection for the Arts on January 25 and the weekend festival at the Academy on January 26-27. The piazza was packed with scientists from the Gladstone and the Academy, and it was packed with visitors engaging with them.
Science is fascinating. The people who do it all their lives, real scientists, are fascinated by the problems they are working on. Otherwise they would do something else. They also can be really effective in sharing their fascination, in telling others the stories they themselves are writing through their work. When they discover people who are interested in what they are doing, they light up and are eager to share their excitement. It works. Everyone wins. People are the best engagers, especially those who are eager to talk and listen, to capture the imagination and share what fascinates them.
The Bay Area is a world center for scientific creativity. We are surrounded by amazing laboratories working at the forefront of so many fields, life and sustainability in particular. Most are closed to the public. They must be. But the Academy is a public stage that welcomes everyone. One of our most important challenges is to bridge the closed and the public worlds, and bring fascinating people who are working on some of the most important problems of our day onto our stage and share them with everyone else.
That is the core concept of Brilliant!Science. It’s the Academy playing the role of a Public Stage for Science. Our first experiment worked splendidly. Stay tuned for the next one.