Pale Blue Dot is a not for profit arts-science collaboration, founded in 2013 by Jane King and Neil Mabbs, to raise public awareness about a range of environmental and social concerns through exhibitions, workshops, publications and events.
We explore how the arts can help communicate complex scientific messages – particularly about the public benefits of protecting the natural world – because:
- Scientists don’t always explain what they do in simple language
- Science does not guarantee certainty. It’s the job of scientists to question their own findings, often resulting in more questions than answers which can be confusing
Despite the proliferation of scientific information in the form of blogs, online publications and printed journals, 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 and we hope this approach will influence the way people perceive science and scientists in Britain. We’re also interested in the educational value of this 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 Dot’ 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.