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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Brisbane Effect

Sometimes random bits of information connect in eerie ways.

I was searching for pristhesancus plagipennis one day. One of the top search returns was "Bugs that we found in the Brisbane area". Hmmmm Ok, duly noted.

A little while later, I was playing around with Google trends and found that Brisbane is the #1 spot in the world searching for the term "insects". Wow. And, hey, a lot of other Australian cities were high on that list as well. Must be a lot of bug nerds down under. Or a lot of bugs. Or both. (btw I was drinking wine made from grapes grown near Adelaide while I was checking trends.)

This morning I noticed this ad in National Geographic in which Australia touts its citizen scientists, which would no doubt include some of those bug nuts, as a lure for American tourists. Given this ad was created by, well, advertisers . . . probably these scientists aren't all they are cracked up to be. But still, I like the tone of the ad; that it's not only possible but valuable and rewarding to seek knowledge about the world around us.

An interesting comparison might be made to this ad, while wondering what American educators can do to get students interested in science. Wine is optional.

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