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Does Harry Potter Belong at Boston's Museum of Science?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  August 17, 2009 09:48 PM

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At the Museum of Science on Sunday evening, I overheard a family talking excitedly about the "Harry Potter" exhibit that's coming in October. They were from California, and they joked that they might have to plan another trip to Boston to see it.

Clearly, the Museum of Science has struck a pop culture chord by inviting the young wizard and his friends to the Hub for a four-month stay.

J.K. Rowling's books have done a great deal: they've motivated and inspired millions of young readers, and they've created a fantasy world that plenty of adults have wanted to enter. Many of the Warner Brothers-made Harry Potter movies have been extremely well done, and I'm looking forward to the opening of a vast theme park experience at Universal Studios in Orlando next year.

But there's something about spells and potions, witchcraft and wizardry, Philosopher's stones and dark arts, that feels retrograde and anti-science to me.

I want to be clear: I'm not against Harry in any way, or the idea that fantasy is an important part of our culture. But what does magic have to do with science?

Magic is about incantations and wand-waving that summon supernatural forces to make something mysterious and amazing happen. Science is about understanding the rules of the natural world, and how they can be used to make amazing things happen. My air conditioning this morning is not powered by magical incantations: there is a power plant somewhere, and an electrical distribution infrastructure, that is powering the fans and compressors that blow cool air in and hot air out.

I called up Paul Fontaine, the museum's vice president of education, to find out how much educational value there will be in the exhibit.

Fontaine told me that there was "huge competition for this exhibit," which is now on display at Chicago's venerable Museum of Science & Industry, and will only come to about a half-dozen U.S. cities. "Boston is the northeast premiere," he said, sounding a bit like a movie mogul.

"There's no escaping that popular culture is popular," Fontaine said, arguing that the exhibit will attract people to the museum from a wide range of backgrounds, some of whom may never have visited before.

I asked Fontaine if he'd seen the comments on this blog post about the exhibit. (Among them: "The only science behind this is economics" and "Could a creationist or intelligent design exhibit be far behind?") He acknowledged that they contained "some real concern about why is this at a science museum."

Fontaine noted that they've done lots of exhibits linked to pop culture, from "Star Wars" to "CSI" to superheroes to "Lord of the Rings." The museum designed the "Star Wars" exhibit itself, which focused on the science of magnetic levitation vehicles and the engineering that goes into robots and prosthetic devices. The "Lord of the Rings" exhibit came from a New Zealand museum, and delved into the ways digital imagery was used to create the realistic-looking fantasy realms of those films. The "CSI" exhibit came from the Fort Worth Science Museum, and explored how forensic science is used to solve crimes.

The Harry Potter exhibit, on the other hand, was created by Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Becker Group, an "experiential marketing company" in Baltimore that "turns incredible brands into unforgettable experiences."

Fontaine said the exhibit will focus on what it takes to tranfer J.K. Rowling's fantasy world from the pages of a book onto the silver screen. The exhibit includes lots of costumes and props and models that were used to make the movies' monsters. But when I asked Fontaine if the exhibit gets into the process of computer-generated special effects, he said it doesn't. "It's weighted more towards the artifacts from the films, but there's a good dose of answers about how they created a character that looked a certain way, or a scene that looked a certain way."

According to the exhibit's elaborate official Web site, "guests will get an up close and personal look at the artistry and craftsmanship that went into creating the iconic props and costumes that appeared throughout the Harry Potter™ films."

But Fontaine said that the exhibit will be supplemented with live presentations and lectures about how movie magic is made, as well as introductions to the live animals that are featured in the films, from owls to rats to ferrets.

Tickets to the Harry Potter exhibit will cost $26 for adults and $23 for kids (an audio tour is an additional $5), but the price includes admission to the rest of the museum which visitors can use on the same day -- or anytime within the next six months.

Yes, Fontaine told me, "it's fair to say we're expecting some lines."

Fontaine said he hopes that skeptics will "give us the benefit of the doubt and come experience [the exhibit]." The museum "takes its mission seriously, and we think you can take pop culture and make it relevant to science and technology and engineering."

What do you think?

Is the magical world of Harry Potter compatible with what we're trying to teach at a science museum? Is the exhibit simply a powerful way to get people into the museum, at which point they might be exposed to other exhibits? Or is it an economic necessity that will buoy the museum's finances in challenging economic times?

(One more note: it's interesting that there's another Harry Potter exhibit, this one developed by the National Library of Medicine [part of the National Institutes of Health], that seems much more science-oriented, if not nearly as flashy. This exhibit points out that "...the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology, and natural philosophy.")

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44 comments so far...
  1. As you mention, the MOS already did a "Lord of the Rings" exhibit. I went. There was a lot more about costumes and props than about CGI, and from the descriptions, the Potter exhibit sounds remarkably similar.

    I think "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" would both have been better, more comfortable fits at the Museum of Fine Arts, where the only dissonance would be the discussion of whether creation of a well-realized world for motion pictures is, infact, a Fine Art.

    But the "Rings" exshibit was well worth seeing, and I have no doubt "Potter" will be the same, and if they bring in paying crowds, well, that's money that will support planetarium shows and real science exhibits.

    Posted by Jonathan Andrew Sheen August 18, 09 10:30 AM
  1. Why so harsh? If the exhibit brings people and money to the museum what is the problem?

    As stated Harry Potter inspired many young people to love reading, why not use the excitement of Harry Potter to get them to the museum? The article also notes Harry Potter is a world many adults want to enter as well. What is wrong with using the exicitment of Harry Potter to bring families together?

    I say great job MOS! I already have my tickets for 9am the morning of the 24th for the member preview and I can not wait to go with my husband and two children.

    Posted by Mom August 18, 09 01:12 PM
  1. While I agree in theory that Potter's exhibit doesn't contain much science- but -- if it generates interest in the museum than I think it's worth it. The exhibit will attract people (read kids) who will see the exhibit, but then tour the rest of the museum- and that alone should be worth it. Anyone who has been to the MOS knows that repeat visits will be the order of the day. And that's a good thing.

    Posted by frankjcapp August 18, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Why not have the Harry Potter exhibit at the MOS? We were forced to have a baseball exhibit at the MUSEUM OF SCIENCE, why not a movie FX exhibit? It's not the first time there have been suedo science exhibits at this museum and it certainly won't be the last. Everyone needs to get over it.

    Posted by Kevin Hudson August 18, 09 01:34 PM
  1. This is not educational in any way and diminishes the MOS. This is the kind of foolishness that is going to make donors disappear like magic!

    Posted by FUMOS August 18, 09 01:38 PM
  1. It doesn't belong, however, if the museum can generate funds with
    the exhibit, and get some spillover into other exhibits for youngsters
    to perhaps help kick up their interest in science, so be it.

    Posted by Ron Mexico August 18, 09 02:19 PM
  1. Actually, the science of Chemistry came out of the art of Alchemy, so science and magic aren't all that far apart.

    Posted by Allison August 18, 09 02:52 PM
  1. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Posted by Arthur C. Clarke August 18, 09 02:55 PM
  1. I think it's great. I'd actually never been to the Museum of Science before the Lord of the Rings exhibit as I had only lived in Boston a short time. Like many of the people that visited the exhibit, I finished viewing it and then wondered throughout the museum, enjoying it - and its science immensely. Bringing Harry Potter will bring MORE people the Museum of Science, even people who might not otherwise have come, and actually raise their awareness of the truly scientific exhibits at the Museum. I'm all for it!

    Posted by Mandy August 18, 09 03:08 PM
  1. It would be interesting if the Harry Potter exhibit could focus on real-life applications or theory of some of the "magic" that they use in the books/films. Obviously some of it is so far in the realm of fantasy that it wouldn't really work but they time-travel in one book - so discuss the theory of relativity. They take herbology and potions classes - sure in real life the plants and other materials used aren't so cute sounding but those are both ideas that sound like botany and pharmaceuticals (I'm sure some science can be found there).

    Posted by pomgreen August 18, 09 03:28 PM
  1. Out of curiosity, did this blogger object to the Lord of the Rings exhibit when it was at the Museum of Science? I went to see the LOTR exhibit, and it was interesting and beautiful, but there was precious little science there; a few displays about special effects, including forced perspective, but those were still as much about the art of movie-making as they were about science.

    LOTR also had a great deal of magic in the story; it was just a lot more subtle than in Harry Potter. No wand-waving, but there was that wizard's duel, and there were animate undead and cataclysmic earth-rending quakes caused by dropping a ring into lava. None of that bears any relation to the laws of actual science, but they fit into a consistent "science" of how things work in Middle Earth. By that notion, the magic in Harry Potter is just as scientific; the magic in these stories isn't a matter of wishing for miracles, but is a specific study with laws about how it works and doesn't work, and people spend years in school learning how to use it safely and effectively. And as the blogger breifly mentions, the magic scheme in Harry Potter is actually rooted in real, historical "sciences": I note that he is more comfortable with the National Library of Medicine's exhibit, even though it draws parallels to historical forms of science that are now discredited, such as alchemy and astrology. No one still believes it would be possible to create the Philosopher's Stone and transmute lead into gold, but several hundred years ago learned scholars were trying to do just that. JK Rowling didn't make it up.

    The crux of this blog entry is this: "But there's something about spells and potions, witchcraft and wizardry, Philosopher's stones and dark arts, that feels retrograde and anti-science to me." Magic feels anti-science to this author, and he is entitled to his opinion. I find it rather ironic, though; it's the other side of the coin from the religious leaders and scholars who hated the Harry Potter books because they felt that magic was anti-faith. Some religious scholars are starting to see that the underlying philosophy in JKR's story is far more nuanced than they'd realize; I hope that this blogger is also able to broaden his view to see that this exhibit is really no different than the other pop-culture based exhibits the museum has hosted.

    Posted by etcetera5 August 18, 09 03:35 PM
  1. I guess the people will be corralled into the Potter exhibit and be told not to visit the rest of the museum? If this is like other exhibits like LOTR and Star Wars you look through it for a while, then go do other stuff in the museum's regular display areas. If you didn't have these types of exhibits then people wouldn't show up.

    I swear, Boston can be so provincial and closed-minded to new ideas sometimes. Get the kids excited about going to the MOS and they'll beg to come back for more visits.

    Posted by K August 18, 09 03:41 PM
  1. As long as these kinds of special exhibits don't become the only type we see at the MoS, and they help generate revenue that allows the Museum to bring in other, more science-based exhibits such as Frogs, Darwin or (my all time favorite) DaVinci, I am more than accepting of pop culture exhibits.

    Posted by Dave C. August 18, 09 03:48 PM
  1. There is a new, just released book entitled, "The Lord of the Hallows; Christian Symbolism and Themes in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, which is now available online at You may follow the links from that web page to order from or The book , written by Denise Roper, is being sold in Stratford-upon-Avon for $30.00. Here in the U.S. , the price for the book is $14.95. What a hoot!

    Posted by August A. Longbottom August 18, 09 04:21 PM
  1. People need to lighten up, it doesn't mean the MOS is "endorsing" magic or claiming it's science. Where else would the exhibit be displayed, pray tell? Contrary to another opinion, I don't think it would fit in at the MFA at all, not to mention the Museum of Science is a much more kid-friendly place.

    Posted by Caitlyn August 18, 09 04:22 PM
  1. I agree with all the positive comments here. The MOS is a fantastic museum and I think that if they want to appeal to the public with pop culture then so be it. Just last week I went to the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon lazer light show. The only science behind Pink Floyd is smokin grass and taking potions.

    Posted by Ethan August 18, 09 04:32 PM
  1. There is a lot that needs to be revamped at the MOS, but there is also a tremendous store of educational material presented in a fun way. Our family has been members there for 8 years and know it well. I have seen the Star Wars and LOR exhibits and they were only marginally educational. They were intended more for entertainment. However there have also been fabulous exhibits (Darwin, Jane Goodall and recently the CritterCam) which more than make up for this. I needed to wait on line for the Star Wars exhibit, but walked right in to the educational ones - and at no extra cost. I might point out, also, that there are very few venues for this kind of exhibit in Boston other than the MOS.

    The Omni theatre is similar - there are some shows which are purely for entertainment and some which are magnificent documentaries.

    Bottom line - let the MOS decide what best puts forth their mission and supports their need to make income.

    Posted by Ron August 18, 09 04:50 PM
  1. Harry Potter belongs at the museum. Remember the science of today was the magic of yesterday. The Physics behind Quiddich, refraction of light for invisibility cloaks, Alchemy and Chemistry, Mythical creatures and archeology...there are many items to discuss. I hope the MOS will create some additional exhibits throughout the museum that make children want to learn science.

    Posted by B. Rider August 18, 09 04:50 PM
  1. I think it's great and I look forward to seeing it! If you're not happy with the idea then just don't visit the museum.

    Posted by Jen August 18, 09 05:13 PM
  1. My sister and I are big Harry Potter fans and saw this exhibit in Chicago back in June. It's not all it's cracked up to be. We both left feeling disappointed (although obviously the Museum of Science & Industry was fabulous, as always). There certainly were not any lectures or live presentations, unless you include the entrance "sorting ceremony". Just large areas meant to look like Hogwarts with artifacts from the movie under glass cases or behind velvet ropes. You were not allowed to take pictures or video of any kind. Perhaps Boston is going to add more interactive features on its own. I certainly hope so, otherwise I don't think it's worth the money.

    Posted by Joy August 18, 09 05:19 PM
  1. Hello?! The Harry Potter world is NOT our world! It contains additional forces and principles than ours. The entire framework of the books is the seven years of intense study required to learn "what makes magic work". It's ALL about "science". It is no more "harmful" or "incorrect" than stories about rocket ships that don't exist (yet). The theme is that students have to hit the books to be able to have personal power and determine their own destiny. I can't think of a better theme to impress upon youngsters.

    Posted by Toolsmith August 18, 09 05:27 PM
  1. "This is not educational in any way and diminishes the MOS. This is the kind of foolishness that is going to make donors disappear like magic!

    Posted by FUMOS August 18, 09 01:38 PM"

    Are you serious?! What was your last donation? Are you even a member? Crazy talk!!!

    Posted by Mom August 18, 09 05:40 PM
  1. I went to the MOS a week before Christmas 1977, and their planetarium had a "Star of Bethlehem" program that was no more scientifically accurate than Rowling's books. (Had the Magi followed an astronomical event night after night, they would have gone more or less in a circle.) If the MOS can do Jesus, they can do Harry.

    That was followed by a UFO program in which they actually took UFOs somewhat seriously. They were clearly sponsored by the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind": they even handed out postcards advertising the movie. Again, if they can do that, why not Harry Potter?

    Posted by Chas Simmons August 18, 09 06:42 PM
  1. I am a member of the MOS, and I think this is stupid. It was nothing to do with Science, not even a stretch.

    The Museum of Science is just pandering here- plain and simple.

    Posted by Heyduke August 18, 09 08:27 PM
  1. I saw the exhibit in Chicago (Museum of Science and Industry) and left feeling that it should have been at the Art Institute. It really misses the whole science part in every respect. Too bad because there is so much potential.

    But, that being said, it is a wonderful exhibit and will be enjoyed by many.

    Caution to parents of young children not yet exposed to HP movies - the opening of the exhibit may be a bit frightening to them.

    Posted by Hunter885 August 18, 09 09:20 PM
  1. oh grow up heyduke.....sometimes a stretch is what it takes to advance. Harry Potter is an excellent addition like any other exhibit and apparently membership costs aren't quite cutting the expense of the museum. Good job MOS.

    Posted by Eric Cooper August 18, 09 10:06 PM
  1. Today, it is exceptionally hard to get young adults to read. Rowling has done that. It must also be hard to get them to go to a museum! Why not use a Harry Potter theme to entice youth to come to a museum! Bravo, MOS! You are doing what you need to draw in today's youth!!!!!!

    Posted by Debbie August 18, 09 10:28 PM
  1. I attended the exhibit in Chicago last week at the Museum of Science and Industry. Its mostly props, a bit of retrospective looking at the various Harry Potter films. The best part (and a separate fee) was seeing the latest Harry Potter film on IMAX--that was fun!

    Posted by Lowell traveler August 18, 09 11:09 PM
  1. We visited Boston last month and took our kids to the MIT museum. It was loaded with curiosities and robots and holograms and even the "Boston" rock album from the 1970s was on display (I think one of the band members went to MIT and redesigned his guitar electronics). One graphic exhibit used the face of Harry Potter actor Dan Radcliffe. Oh no pop culture! The folks at MIT seem to think that design ideas and scientific data interact with people in the social setting- in fact this was one of the themes of the exhibit.

    What's going to make young people want to become scientists? I asked my biologist pal and he said that going to summer learning camps as a kid had a major influence on his intellectual development. Maybe museums can help kids see the world around them as a field of study. Movie props are not as relevant as a hologram exhibit. Mass marketed consumeristic fads numb the paradigm challenging curiosity so vital to science. However, you have to meet people where they are. Otherwise the museum could just display encylopedias.

    Science is advanced by curiosity and a strong sense of wonder and appreciation. The wizards in the Harry Potter books really love learning about the world they live in. The "muggles" or non-wizards refuse to look at facts, don't want their thinking challenged, and are generally cluelss. Which attitude in the story is pro-science?

    Calling these wholesome books anti scientific is inflammatory and not based on evidence. The books are clearly anti-racist, as Rowling herself states, but where do you find any statement that is anti-science? The kids in the story love school. Not nerdy enough fo you? Then perhaps what we need to do is burn every childhood book that does not accurately explain the technology of the air conditioning system, as our blogger seems to suggest. Or rewrite them: Harry Potter and the Air Conditioning System. Harry Potter and the 220 Watt Unit. Harry Potter and the Owner's Manual. That would fix those lazy kids!

    Posted by Dan August 19, 09 06:03 AM
  1. Dan -

    You make some great points -- especially about the Muggles. Obviously the characters in the Harry Potter books love school, and are making the best use of their special talents. They're curious and adventurous, which are great traits, and I do think you could make the case that curiosity is a trait required of all great scientists.

    I guess the questions I was trying to raise are these two:

    - Is the way wizardry is portrayed in the books (and I haven't read them all, I confess) compatible with the hard work and complexity of the scientific/experimental process, or is it really the opposite of science (IE, you learn the right spell, wave a wand, and something cool happens, often with the aid of supernatural and mysterious forces)?

    - Is there educational/scientific merit in this exhibit (which I haven't seen yet), or is it just a collection of movie memorabilia?

    I should say, I love the MIT Museum... and also went to summer camp at a science museum in Miami as a kid, which helped spark my interest in science and technology. I'm for anything that inspires kids in positive ways....

    Posted by Scott Kirsner August 19, 09 08:12 AM
  1. The Museum of Science also displays an aircraft from the 'Star Wars' movies.
    If the exhibit usefully explores the differences between magic and science--and, one could argue, what's magic for a Muggle is indistinguishable from science in the wizarding world--well and good. But I looked in vain for any commentary about the 'Star Wars' craft other than its aesthetic references to old twentieth century science fiction illustrations. A serious discussion of knotty philosophical issues, fraught with implications for religion as well as science, would seem unlikely.

    Posted by ProfWombat August 19, 09 08:28 AM
  1. I went to LOTR and Star Wars, and commended the MOS for finding ways to incorporate pop culture and science in a way to bring in new visitors and funnel much needed funds into the door (remember - the MOS is a NON-PROFIT that depends on your donations, membership, and ticket sales to keep the Museum running). However every time I return when there are not blockbuster exhibits there, it's clear that the Museum hasn't used any of those funds to update their tried and true. Heck, they haven't even used the funds to hire competent people to clean the bathrooms. I don't know what they're doing with all that money over there (the most recent updates came from a private donation) but it's certainly not retaining me as a member or even a customer any longer.

    Posted by DisappointedMOSMember August 19, 09 08:56 AM
  1. Science IS magic(al)!

    Posted by D.Fleming August 19, 09 09:35 AM
  1. Of course it belongs there. The audience for this will mainly be parents and children. If you can remember going to the Science Museum as a child, it was about entertainment with the educational aspects being snuck in. Museums make learning fun. These aren't Ph.D. candidates flocking to the museum, they're 12 year olds. I am sure kids will enjoy the lectures and animal demonstrations.. so will the parents and learned the science behind bringing "Harry Potter" to film.

    Posted by Stephanie August 19, 09 10:23 AM
  1. MOS exhibits are getting tired and shabby.
    A show like the Harry Potter one brings in crowds and cash.

    Posted by openyourmind August 19, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Magic(k) as defined by Sir Aleister Crowley is the ART and SCIENCE of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.

    Posted by Herodias575 August 19, 09 12:09 PM
  1. The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter exhibits are undoubtedly very popular. But as a member of the Museum of Science (MOS) and a parent, I think these completely non-scientific exhibits have no place at the MOS. When the Museum hosted The Lord of the Rings exhibit, they chose NOT to host a major exhibit about Benjamin Franklin and his scientific investigations. There are many fine traveling science-themed exhibits, and frankly the MOS should be coming up with its own given all of the scientific and other talent here in Boston. I think the leadership at the MOS has lost its way in many respects and this is just one example.

    Posted by mahto August 19, 09 12:10 PM
  1. It may not be related to science but is it better to leave the space empty when they could be bringing in revenue? Perhaps there are no “science exhibits” available at this time.

    Like other posters have said, what’s the big deal? It will bring more kids into the MOS and get them off their butts, computers and video games.

    Posted by whatever August 19, 09 12:32 PM
  1. Wow all this over an exhibit. Why dose every exhibit need to be 100% about science. I saw the Star Wars Exhibit A the Smithsonian Air and Space exhibit. I don’t recal any complaints from visitors. The last time I was at MOS was for the Science of Thrills exhibit back in 2003. I have been anticipating the exhibit for 3 years. Why it was very much based on the science of the amusement park I much was lost with the key attractions having nothing to do with the science itself. But they kept the people around to look at the things that did. The Harry Potter Exhibit is the same thing on a bigger scale. They will be intrigued by the Exhibit and stay for the science museum. I know I’m considering going back after a 6 year hiatus to see the exhibit. I only recall 2 Science related Exhibits that I wanted to see one space travel (contained Star Trek Models).I also saw the Egyptian Ramses Exhibit another exhibit I had been looking forward to for a long time.

    If the MOS is not to have anything that is not Science related they should remove the Laser show, Simulator, Butterfly house, Musical stares, Laser shows, most of the IMAX movies, and most of the 3D theater movies. These attractions like the Harry potter exhibit are offered as a way to draw people to the Museum or keep them there longer. The money brought in is used along with donations to maintain the exhibits and hopefully continue to rehab the facility.

    Posted by Michael Coutermarsh August 19, 09 01:31 PM
  1. Didn't the MOS recently get rid of their in-house exhibit designers and staff? Now, they are using outside traveling exhibits instead. This has nothing to do with science, just entertainment.

    Posted by Kathode August 19, 09 01:59 PM
  1. I'm a member of the MOS and support the Harry Potter exhibit. Perhaps there will not be a good tie between what happens in Harry Potter and science, but the museum has historically done a great job of differentiating between what is "real" and what is "creative." I remember very well the filmed interview with George Lucas during the Star Wars exhibit in which he discussed the effort he put into making the story believable by not violating the laws of physics. He hired physicists to help him. The exhibit also examined what would need to be invented to make some of the Star Wars spacecraft real. This included technologies currently under development.

    I wouldn't expect as nice a comparison with Harry Potter, but there are some developments that might surprise people, including work on an "invisibility cloak" that is having some success. Science is successful when there is imagination. Innovation starts with imaginative ideas and results in technologies such as cellphones and video cameras in pens. I understand the proposal that Harry Potter would be a better fit at the MOA, but I think it is better at the MOS. Besides, I don't have a membership at the MOA.

    Posted by Bob August 20, 09 04:48 AM
  1. To everyone who justifies this exhibit with the fact that it will bring money to the musuem, Warner Brothers will keep the entire cost of the special exhibit ticket.

    Posted by swan September 8, 09 09:51 PM
  1. You know the Boston Museum of Science actually added at least one exhibit piece to the Lord of the Rings exhibition. I was lucky enough to work on it back here in New Zealand, it was the motion tracking interactive exhibit which I completed as a part of my Computer Science honours degree. It showed aspects of computer vision on the forefront of current science and technology.

    Posted by rogercamel September 10, 09 10:25 PM
  1. Simply Tragic, There are so many really cool and interesting things happening in science, that never make it into the MOS.

    Posted by areasearchchemist September 14, 09 01:55 PM


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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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