GSA Connects 2023 Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Paper No. 257-13
Presentation Time: 4:30 PM


SANTOS, Gabriel-Philip, Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, 1175 W. Baseline Rd, Claremont, CA 91711

Whether you are at local pop culture events or huge international conventions like San Diego Comic-Con, panels are the main attraction to engage with audiences at said events. Themes for panels range from the latest announcement for a blockbuster movie to showcasing the work of an honored artist. There are hundreds of themes for panels and science is no exception. Since the creation of pop culture events, scientists and educators have seen the potential of science-themed panels to engage with unique audiences and disseminate information in-person through the lens of pop culture. In doing so, scientists and educators can create a more welcoming space to communicate science where our shared love of pop culture narratives connects us to our audience and makes science more relatable. Though not all panels are created equal. Science panels must compete with industry-funded marketing, celebrities panelists, and a multitude of interesting topics to gather an audience. With some conventions having over 100,000 attendees, even trying to fill a room for 100 audience members can be a difficult task if a panel organizer is not prepared. The Cosplay for Science Initiative has organized over 30 successful science-themed panels at many popular conventions since being founded in 2017. By having a strong organization plan and utilizing strategic communications that industry panels use, Cosplay for Science has reached thousands of attendees through our panels that range in themes from planetary science in science fiction to the influence of paleontology on cinematic history.