Science is a way of life, not just a subject

Laura Lacole is a model, public speaker and founder of a start-up to promote science, called Sci-Geist.

Science just isn’t at the front of most people’s minds and that’s why it’s not a bigger part of culture or society.

I grew up in a working-class estate in East Belfast, and there was a real lack of opportunity for people to engage with science. Studying science beyond school wasn’t an option for many of my peers because they had to get a job quickly to support the family.

This instantly marks science as something for people’s that work in or study it – not for most people, so how do you fix this?

For me, we need a more science conscious society and promote a science-aware lifestyle which could improve lives. Critical thinking and the scientific method should be part of an everyday life toolkit that people use. The first way to achieve this is to target the least engaged who have no interest in science by adding science awareness to what they are already engaged in and reference and promote science in mainstream media and entertainment.

Yes, there are magazines that focus on scientific discoveries and the business of science like the New Scientist, or even how the tools of the trade are applied to figuring things out or how science is relevant to everyday life, so why is there still an issue?

We’re approaching it wrong! Not everyone wants to be taught. Imagine a website that focussed on popular culture but with science awareness running through it. It wouldn’t aim to be a science site but focussed on entertainment. This website could feature young rap artists spitting bars about their views on life and the universe. Or it could feature interviews with people like the famous racing driver, Ken Block. He did a jaw dropping ramp jump in a Subaru and when he got out of the car he was asked how did you know you would make that? And his reply… “I knew the physics of it” subtly but vitally promoted science.

As a non-scientist, I want science to be accessible within popular culture and for it to be a way of life for everyone, not just something that scientists do.

Laura Lacole is a model, public speaker, Director of Frontier Models, Vice Chair of Atheist Northern Ireland and NI Ambassador of the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign. She was also the founder of a start-up to promote science, called Sci-Geist.

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