The Vern Blazek Science Power Hour is Satire, with a Serious Point
Satire is an important tool in communication, and can be an effective means to convey complex topics. The Vern Blazek Science Power Hour is an experiment in access to science communication. Here we utilize tools of parody and caricature to discuss critical issues in science, with the hopes of inspiring a non-traditional audience to participate in scientific discussion.
A parody of the 1990’s Art Bell (figure 1) overnight radio show, the Science Power Hour (averaging about 32 minutes) brought a range of real scientific topics into discussion with a clearly fictitious host, much in the line of The Colbert Report only not as funny or interesting. Actually, it is almost not funny or interesting, but hey, points for effort.
Who is Vern Blazek?
People enter the science field because they don’t prefer a spotlight. These days when science communicators can find themselves under siege for teaching topics like climate, stem cells, earth going around the sun, biotechnology, synthetic biology, (the list goes on and on), it is no wonder why someone might hide behind a microphone with a funny pseudonym like Vern Blazek. We live in times when those communicating science may opt for some privacy, especially when engaging controversial topics, letting scientists interviewed take the lead in discussing the science.
Many writers choose a pen name. Many radio or television personalities use pseudonyms to ensure their family’s privacy. This is a hobby, not part of a job, and no funds are ever received. There is no malicious use of this podcast. It is to discuss science and its integration with society. Roll with it.
It is truly ironic– wishing to blaze a trail with a new edge of communicating science using humor or parody, but not wanting to be recognized for it. But that’s the point. We can let the data do the talking and just put it into a more approachable, friendly vessel.
So if you really need to know who Blazek is, it is not that hard to figure it out. Listen to the Talking Biotech podcast. This is all about sharing science to a broader audience, using the most modern methods of information dissemination.
— and just so it is clear, this is a hobby, a spare-time, non-work activity, and has nothing to do with his work, employer, etc. Views are his own.