I received an email the other day asking me if I had any connection to the new initiative announced at USC recently (link here), talking about a new partnership (involving USC and the NSF) for increasing and improving the amount of science in entertainment and media products such as films and television shows, and probably more. It is called the Creative Science Studio, or CS2. You’ve read me talk about these sorts of projects on the blog a huge amount, and so I won’t repeat the motivations here (you can find earlier thoughts if you look under some of the categories this post is in for other posts on the subject).
One of the fallouts (fallsout?) of being a dabbler, behind-the-scenes-agitator and general troublemaker is that one can never really tell what are all the final projects, initiatives (and so forth) that come about as a result (at least in part) of one’s actions. In trying to significantly move forward things such as this (involving public awareness, social norms, patterns of behaviour, societal change, etc), it is one of the things you consciously have to give up keeping track of. You just get involved as best you can and hope that some connections are made, people get thinking and acting, and that good things happen. So the answer is that I simply don’t know which thing this is and which of the many conversations, meetings and other actions I’ve had (including with some of those mentioned in the press release) may have helped this along, although I do remember a big brainstorming meeting at the Cinema School involving Kip Thorne and various filmmakers and students where we hammered out several ideas about how to proceed with educational ideas and collaborations.
Well, it does not matter. It is just good to see that something has bubbled to the surface in the way of a structure that might create good work.
This was my reply to the email (which was asking if there was a formal relationship between things I’ve been doing and the new CS2):
Thanks for your email and thanks for reading the blog!
There is no formal relationship, but I’ve been doing a lot of connecting people (scientists with artists and entertainers) behind the scenes, and have spent time trying to get the Cinematic Arts school into conversations with various scientists over various projects, both professional and educational. (Also, I sometimes advise students from that school on their projects for the Sloane initiatives that fund science scripts, etc).
I was in on some of the meetings that [may have] led to this new venture, but did not take the lead in hammering out the details. The final details and the announcement are news to me. I am happy that it got all worked out. Thanks for pointing it out to me!
Creative Science Studios has a video here: