American Idol Meets Science (via Cool CO.NX)


OK, now everyone here has heard of American Idol, right? What about America’s Got Talent or Britain’s Got Talent? Dancing with the Stars? Or any other “reality talent shows“, as the genre is called, or even just old fashioned school talent shows? OK, just establishing a baseline. If you know the idea of talent shows, you will understand the idea behind Science Idol, which is sort of like the other talent shows, except it is about SCIENCE! Now, what could be cooler than that? At least, for a geek wannabe like me.

The Science Idol concept that is most like the other television shows is the one still in development by Will.I.Am.

Will.i.am Developing an ‘American Idol’ for Science and Technology Geniuses
2:16 PM PDT 9/18/2012 by Seth Abramovitch. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/william-american-idol-science-technology-371294
Science Idol

At the other extreme, is the project from the Union of Concerned Scientists called “Science Idol” but less about performing than comics. Still, both are about communicating science concepts to the public, whether on paper or in performance.

The 2012 UCS Editorial Cartoon Contest: http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/science_idol/
Science Idol

The one I really wanted to draw attention to today is the New Zealand Science Idol Competition.

Science Idol: http://www.scifest.org.nz/competitions/science-idol-2012
Science Idol

They’ve JUST announced the winners and finalists, but not yet the grand prize winner.

Not only is this a real Science Idol performance competition / education / science communication that has actually already happened, but it ran under the oversight of Tom McFadden, a true innovator and leader in this conceptual space.

Close Up: Tom McFadden, Science Rapper

More videos by and about Tom’s work with rap and storytelling for science communication.

Youtube: Tom McFadden http://www.youtube.com/user/tomcfad

Articles about Tom’s work in this area.

Regulatin’ genes: Stanford biologists rap about what makes us human:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/mar/11/what-makes-us-human

Rappin’ for Science: http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/rappin-for-science/

BioPop Rap Battle: Tom McFadden vs Science Rapper. Who Gets Your Vote? http://bitesizebio.com/articles/biopop-rap-battle-tom-mcfadden-vs-science-rapper/

Tom is known as the Rhymebosome. Would you believe that this is such a hot emerging area that there is even a blog devoted entirely to science music?

Science songster interview #8: Tom McFadden http://singaboutscience.org/wp/2012/08/26/science-songster-interview-8-tom-mcfadden/

Now, are you ready? Tom McFadden will be doing a live webcast for the US State Department NEXT WEEK!!! This sure sounds like a must see to me.

Digital Storytelling: Science Rapper, Tom McFadden
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
11:00 EST (16:00 UTC)

URL: http://conx.state.gov/eca

Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #StateAlumni.

If you haven’t heard of CO.NX, they are a seriously incredible resource for learning and inspiration, with everything made free and archived online. They are one of the best kept secrets I know about. They have rather phenomenal upcoming events and archived events. They are on Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and iTunes. Topics range from healthcare, global rights, food, culture, women’s issues, music, publishing, children’s literature, advocacy, public health, politics, and so much more. Here is a tiny sampling of recent presentations in their archive.

* American Libraries 2012 (Spanish)
* Analysis of the 2012 Election Results: Your Questions with Thomas Schaller
* Digital Storytelling
* History of Heavy Metal (Spanish)
* How to Write a Grant Proposal and Win
* International Literacy Day 2012
* Internet & Education with Salman Khan of Khan Academy
* Live! From America – a Taste of Thanksgiving
* NaNoWriMo: How Writing 50,000 Words in 30 Days Changed My Life (English, Russian)
* Preventing Gang Violence
* World Food Day 2012

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