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In the introduction of her brilliant book “The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science,” New York Times science writer Natalie Angier cites a 2005 survey of high-school-aged students in Britain to show how hard it is to get people interested in science.
Among the 950 students surveyed, 51 percent said science was “boring,” “confusing” or “difficult,” according to Angier’s reporting on the survey. Only 7 percent considered people working in science to be “cool.”
Well, I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I can guarantee you that anyone who calls scientists uncool hasn’t met Maurizio Seracini, a University of California, San Diego scientist who uses lasers and ultrasound technology to uncover lost art masterpieces. And they haven’t visited UCSD’s Brain Observatory, where Jacopo Annese is building a one-of-a-kind library of human brains.
Nor have they had the pleasure of chatting with any number of movers and shakers in San Diego’s high tech and biotech communities — people who through their research and entrepreneurialism are leading the charge for cures to deadly diseases and an array of technological breakthroughs.
When you visit The Venture, you will get to know these people and get a sense of the roles they are playing in shaping the economic and political future of San Diego. And you will be invited to help drive the discussion of what should be covered, and uncovered, in the world of science and technology in San Diego.
And I promise that anyone — even a British teenager — who chooses to make The Venture a part of their daily routine, will find it “exciting,” “clear” and “easy to get involved in.” And they will gain so much new knowledge about science, that they will feel really “cool.”