SciCheers get “often-ignored populations excited about the basics of science”

Now THAT’s what we’re talkin’ ’bout.

I’ll be blunt. I was a little nervous about speaking at the huge Netroots Nation conference a couple of weeks ago, where they “…push the practice of online and offline organizing forward and change the debate on policies.” I was there to talk about ways to reach people–with science–in unexpected places. Wasn’t entirely sure these (mostly liberal, certainly progressive) good folks would want to hear about our recipe of professional cheerleaders, sports fans, bar patrons, amateur scientists…

BUT…check this out! BoingBoing reporter, Maggie Koerth-Baker, was one of the attendees. Readers of SciCheer will probably appreciate her take.

Cavalier is the brains behind the Science Cheerleaders, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. There are cheerleaders. They are talking about science. And you ought to resist the urge to brush this off as fluff. That’s because Cavalier is using the concept as a way to get often-ignored populations excited about the basics of science. At Netroots, she told the audience about taking a team of Science Cheerleaders into a Philadelphia bar during a football game to talk about geometry. When you’ve got a drunk guy swiping your megaphone to yell about vectors, I actually think you’re doing something right. (Plus, it was more than a little awesome to watch her video clip wherein several pro-sports cheerleaders discussed their other careers in medicine, biology, neuroscience, and math.)

If you assume cheerleaders are bimbos and bar patrons won’t care about math, then you’re never going to get those people thinking seriously about the science of climate.

Read the full post, here (it’s worth it, promise).