My family knows that I’ve always been a fan of Halloween, with its pumpkins, spiders, and masks. That 2020 has been the Year of the Mask only slightly cools my affection for the day. I’m stunned, though, to think about the irony that 2019 was, in such a very different sense, a Year of the Mask for us at the Center for Science & Culture, as we debuted the extremely popular Science Uprising season. An icon of the series, from episode to episode, is a masked character. Why a mask? And why that particular design? I explained the meaning in a post, “What’s Up with the Science Uprising Mask?“:
The mask is a reference to the 2005 film V for Vendetta, inspired in turn by the historical English rebel Guy Fawkes, and a comic by David Lloyd, who is right when he says it has become “an icon of popular culture,” “a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny.” The ape is of course a reference to evolutionary schemes that insist on human beings as no more than clever apes. Is “tyranny” too strong a word here? No, it’s not.
That was in June 2019. The trailer is here:
If you haven’t seen all six episodes, you should do so by going to the program’s website now. It is of course free. The series is aimed at reaching Generation Z. And wow, not least in this year of isolation, worry, and conflict, do young people need it! The hunger for meaning has never been greater, and the intersection between science and culture has never seemed more vital. I surely did not realize in 2019 how timely Science Uprising would turn out to be.