The Small Science Collective

SSC Zine Library

The Small Science Collective makes free, totally awesome zines about earwigs, protein structure, intestinal bacteria and facial gestures. Their motivation for this DIY public science publishing project? “Overall scientific literacy in the U.S lags at the very same time that the privatizing and patenting of scientific knowledge becomes more and more common.”

Some of the zines are charmingly straight and to the point like science fair projects, others are collaborations between astrophysicists and graphic designers looking into the “gossip and hearsay about the universal nature of spiral forms.

spirals within spirals

All the SSC zines are available as downloadable PDFs, and are distributed for free in “subways, benches, coffee shops, and any place someone might least expect them. Perhaps catching the attention of strangers who might what to learn something new about ants, spirals, food, or genetics?” Or those who want to know how to best play host to the parasitic bot fly.

So Easy!

Check out the full zine library here. Print one out, follow the folding instructions and pass it along. They’re looking for new contributors too. Sweet. Read their manifesto after the jump. (via Bug Girl’s Blog.)

from the SSC website:

Who’s Knowledge is Scientific Knowledge?

Many say science is one of the most democratic forms of knowledge. At the same time, the gap between scientific, medical, & engineering specialists and the public only seems to continue to increase. Overall scientific literacy in the U.S lags at the very same time that the privatizing and patenting of scientific knowledge becomes more and more common.

It is easy to feel disempowered, believing that scientific knowledge is obscure, boring and simply not for us. We might shrug-off the importance of science in our lives, assuming doctors and researchers who “know better” will do all of the thinking for us. Although sometimes enjoying the strangeness of scientific discoveries, many of us don’t seem to believe we could play any part in communicating and sharing scientific knowledge.

The intention of Small Science Collective is to get over these assumptions and get everyone thinking about & communicating science through cheap and handy one page zines. Contributions come from researchers, students, the science-curious, and hopefully you as well! These zines and pamphlets are distributed in subways, benches, coffee shops, and any place someone might least expect them. Perhaps catching the attention of strangers who might what to learn something new about ants, spirals, food, or genetics? Whatever else, it is at least something to read while you wait for the bus. Pick one up, print one out here, read it, and leave it somewhere random for some unsuspecting stranger to pick up and learn something new. The science is yours to share.

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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in JTHomesteader.com with Stephanie Smith.

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