How you can be a part of Big Science

Posted by Alison Klesman
on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Green Bank Radio Observatory in southern West Virginia has already offered full support to the Big Science project. // Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI

It takes more than a scientist — or even a team of them — to produce valuable results. Every image taken and number recorded is the culmination of not just rigorous mental work, but physical exertion as well. To get to the publishable results reported in our magazine and online news, scientific communities must first build, and then maintain and run, big science facilities.

Do you know what it takes to do that, or how this process employs numerous individuals at every level to make sure cutting-edge science can continue moving forward?

Hosted by astrophysicist Brian Koberlein, Big Science is a proposed television series to delve deeper into the vast and vital communities of people who “make science happen.” The series is ready to pitch, but first it needs a “sizzle reel” — a video advertisement that includes footage, graphics, and more that will sell the series to a network producer. From there, the series can begin production, but that first step is needed to secure funding and backing to turn Big Science into a reality.   

Big Science is currently raising funds for this sizzle reel on Kickstarter. I learned about the project through my connection to the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program, which recently gave me the opportunity to visit some of these amazing big science facilities in Chile and learn more about the people that support them. Our visit highlighted the fact that it doesn’t take a Ph.D. or even a degree in science to contribute to astronomical research, and this series aims to build on that foundation to show just how much work, effort, passion, and innovation — not all of it necessarily in the very specific field of astronomy — goes into these facilities.

If you’d like to learn more about Big Science, its goals, and its current fundraising campaign, I invite you to visit their Kickstarter page.

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