Turning science into a party

Lucky Cambridge: a whole bunch of organizations, including Harvard, MIT, and the Cambridge public schools and libraries are collaborating to put on the Cambridge Science Festival—9 days of science activities around the town. That is exactly the kind of broadly supported activity in the service of science education that can make a difference in public perception. It’s an excellent idea…now if only more communities had that kind of concentration of scientific organizations to make that kind of sustained activity possible.

(via Science Made Cool)


  1. Nick says

    I bet downtown Pittsburgh could pull this off. In fact, I bet most US cities could. I wonder how one would go about trying to set something like this up….

  2. FishyFred says

    Washington, DC could do it easily, but I’m afraid of Bush appointees meddling in the presentations and activities.

  3. says

    Why couldn’t this be a traveling show…who organizes all those Star Trek conventions? I think most major metro areas with a decent size university could support such a thing. Maybe not 9 days worth, but something that would bring a lot of people in. The other Cambridge has a nice science festival too… http://www.cambridgescience.org/

  4. says

    Oh, cool. I work just within a block of where the Human Genome Trail begins. (The site says “Kendall Square”, but presumably they’ll really start at the Broad Institute’s headquarters… Same area, but I’m just picky about the Kendall Square/Cambridge Center distinction, for no damned good reason.)

    Woo, this’ll be fun!

  5. SEF says

    The original Cambridge (ie UK) has/had one too: Cambridge Science Festival (12th-25th March). However, the website link for that one now seems to be dead.

    Google still has a (somewhat broken) cached version though and the podcasts numbered (1 to 4) might still work.

    Meanwhile, the more entertaining events are possibly the CHaOS ones – and they have their own website:

  6. says

    Sweet! Thanks for posting this! We live about an hour from Boston, and visit the city on a regular basis — this is definitely going on the calendar.

  7. Apikoros says

    I remember that when I was a kid, the University of Washington had a public “open house” once a year. (It may have been just the biology departments?) Each department put together some displays in a room of their building, and you could walk around the campus and see cool animals (my first giant squid!), look down microscopes, talk to scientists, etc. I went every year.

    By the time I was actually a student there, I don’t think they did it any more.

    How hard could it really be for every University to do this once a year? Most already have some cool displays, it’s just a matter of making a map and inviting people to come by.

  8. Brendan says

    The city I live in (Flagstaff, AZ) has been doing something like this for years. I can’t find any good one-stop links, but I can remember this going on for as long as I’ve had science classes in school. It’s a weeklong pile of events that aim at increasing general scientific literacy in the community. Good stuff.