On a platform before a crowd of curious onlookers, the scientists eagerly
ripped open a box of CDs containing data from a newly released
million-second-long exposure taken by two cameras onboard the Hubble telescope,
and struggled to transfer the data to nearby computers as they answered a
multitude of questions shouted out by reporters and middle-school students.
So began Science Live: The
Race to Decode the Hubble Ultra Deep Field Image at the American
Museum of Natural History in New York.
Odd… According to the museum website, this is “an unprecedented opportunity to watch competitive space science in action, as teams of astrophysicists from the American Museum of Natural History, Columbia University, and Stony Brook University race to decode strange space objects revealed in a newly released Hubble Space Telescope image.”
I wonder… if this is supposed to get kids interested in science, will they be bored when they realize that “real” science doesn’t offer this kind of artificial adrenaline injection? What if a “Bill Nye the Literature Guy” dressed up in a funny costume and pretended to do literary research in front of a camera, with a modest budget for special effects and gallons of caffeine for the editors to use when they stitch the show together?
Oh, well… maybe that’s what poetry slams are…