Inside the Collection

I F***king Love Science at the Powerhouse

Photograph of Elise Andrew Derek Muller Chris Cassella
Right: Elise Andrew (I F***ing Love Science) Left: Derek Muller (ABC and Veritasium), Centre: Chris Cassella (ScienceAlert).
Photo taken by Sarah Terkes, UNSW.

I F***king Love Science is a Facebook page that started in March 2012, posting quirky but accurate science news and ideas, with serious depth as well as humour. It grew phenomenally and now has more than 6.5 million followers. Its founder, Elise Andrew, is a 24 year old UK biology graduate who has quickly become the new star of popular science for millions of people. On Monday, 12 August, the Powerhouse Museum and ScienceAlert presented ‘IFLS Live!’, an event which brought together Elise Andrew with great scientists and science communicators from around the world. The evening was part of National Science Week and was hosted by Elise and the ABC’s Derek Muller (Veritasium), featured Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Adam Spencer, Nobel prize winning astrophysicist Professor Brian Schmidt, US astronomer Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy), Carin Bondar (‘Wild Sex’ series), Henry Reich (Minute Physics channel) Mitchell Moffit (ASAP Science) and Destin (Smarter every day).

The Museum’s Turbine Hall buzzed with 600 excited guests who packed in around the stage to be educated and entertained by our speakers while relaxing with a drink in hand. During breaks, guests enjoyed demonstrations such as spoon bending and got to chat to research scientists at ‘Speed meet a geek’. Tickets for this event were quite the hot item. All tickets sold out in 30 minutes. To accommodate all the people who couldn’t attend, the event was streamed live on the Museum’s website. 4,922 people watched the event live online, many from all over Australia, the US, Canada and the UK.

Social media and its stars like Elise Andrew, and Carin Bender have made science accessible to a broader audience. Giving the public ways of understanding science in museums. In the mid 20th century different techniques were used such as dioramas, didactic displays and models like the ‘transparent woman’ from the Museums collection.

Anatomical model, full size, 'The Transparent Woman'
H5789 Anatomical model, full size, ‘The Transparent Woman’, perspex / aluminium / metal / wood / plastic, made by The German Health Museum, Cologne, Germany, 1950-1953, used by Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1954. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

A combination of old and new techniques could work but certainly on the Monday night social media showed its appeal, there was an amazing vibe. Everyone in attendance was incredibly excited to be part of this unique event – the first ever I F***ing Love Science event and Elise’s first public appearance.  It was an amazing celebration of how science really is f***ing awesome!

Written by Isabelle Kingsley, Science Education Officer

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