Pale Blue Dot is a not for profit arts-science collaboration aimed at raising public awareness about a range of environmental and social concerns through exhibitions, workshops, publications and events.
We are exploring how the arts can help communicate complex scientific messages and make them accessible to a wider public audience, because:
- Scientists are not always skilled at explaining what they do in simple language.
- Science does not guarantee certainty. It is the job of scientists to question their own findings, often resulting in more questions than answers which many find frustrating and confusing.
Despite the proliferation of scientific information in the form of blogs, online publications and printed journals, according to an editorial in Nature Magazine, most of the public still turn to the pages of popular newspapers to find out about matters scientific. Detailed and accurate investigative journalism in the popular press however, is increasingly hard to find.
We aim to bridge the gap between scientific journals and the popular press by delivering information that is unbiased and balanced, presented in a variety of accessible formats.
Arts-science collaborations are increasing. We hope this approach will influence the way people perceive science and scientists in Britain, because we’re concerned about the lack of evidence-based policy making. We’re also interested in the educational value of an interdisciplinary approach.
We are inspired by popularisers of science such as Carl Sagan (1934-1996) who originally coined the phrase ‘pale blue dot’. The first image of earth represented as a ‘Pale Blue Bot’ was taken in 1990, at the request of Sagan, by the unmanned NASA space craft Voyager 1, at around 6 billion kilometres (3.7 billion miles) from Earth . In his book Pale Blue Dot – A Vision of the Human Future in Space, Sagan reflects upon Earth as a pin prick of blue light, like a particle of dust, looking completely insignificant in the infinity of space.