Talking Science, Aliens, And RoboCop With Kids!

By Kyle Hill | February 27, 2014 8:51 am

Kyle Mutant SeasonThe hardest part of communicating science isn’t when it’s in front of your peers or viewers or readers—the people you expect to know what you are talking about and why. For me, it’s talking science with kids. There isn’t anything like the inquisitive stare of a pre-teen to elicit the feeling you are about to speak in front of your biggest audience ever.

At the same time, communicating science to kids can be the most rewarding part of the job. That highbrow metaphor you use to make sure readers understand exactly how that particular protein interacts with that particular cell in this particular animal doesn’t mean a thing anymore. You have to be at the top of your game, ready to field questions on everything from RoboCop to the plausibility of Ancient Aliens.

Returning for a second time, I tried to do just that with Gil, the incredibly precocious 11-year old host of the Nerdist Network’s Mutant Season podcast. It’s another long one, and we tend to get caught up in our own nerdiness, but we had a lot of fun. You can listen to the whole episode here and tell me how I did in the comments below. If you want something a bit more zombie-heavy, check out our first discussion too!

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But Not Simpler

It has been said that you should try to make a problem as simple as possible, but not simpler. Here, that problem is finding the real science behind pop culture. But Not Simpler is a place where you can ask the questions you thought were too nerdy for real answers. The physics of video games? Sure! The chemistry of dragon breath? Why not? When you can find the realities behind your favorite fiction, and seriously nerd-out in the process, everyone wins. Simple.

About Kyle Hill

Kyle Hill is a science writer and communicator who specializes in finding the secret science in your favorite fandom. His work has appeared in Wired, The Boston Globe, Scientific American, Popular Science, Slate, and more. He is a TV correspondent for Al Jazeera America's science and technology show TechKnow and a columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Find his stream of nerdery on Twitter: @Sci_Phile Email him at sciencebasedlife [at] gmail [dot] com.

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