Amazing Science, a “pulp” and science exhibition (France)

    In a nod to the SF culture of 1930’s American magazines, the Amazing Science exhibition brought to you by Inserm (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale/National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives/ Atomic Energy Commission) from France, takes you on an exploratory journey into uncharted territory, on the frontiers of pulp culture, science fiction and scientific research.

    Presented for the first time at the 2012 Nantes Utopiales, this new exhibition invites you to delve into the mysteries of life, matter and the universe. The Amazing Science exhibition has set itself a dual challenge: to promote discovery and understanding through enjoyment and to encourage explanation and learning through transformation.

    With the Amazing Science exhibition, Inserm and CEA continue to follow the adventurous trail blazed by Amazing Stories, the American sci-fi magazine first published in 1926. Back then, Hugo Gernsback’s publication regaled its readers with “scientific romances” complete with shock graphics, bright colours, striking typography and mysterious perspectives.

    Opening on 7 November 2012, the Amazing Science exhibition will breathe fresh life into those old magazine covers –  20th Century science fiction reinvented by the 21st Century science. Claude Ecken, science fiction writer, comic script writer, literary critic, broadcaster and public reader, will join in this revival of “science romances” with a series of short science fiction stories taking visitors on a 26 images literary journey.

    Science and pulp culture

    As the Maison d’Ailleurs (the European Science Fiction Museum, House of Elsewhere, Yverdon, Switzerland) Director Marc Atallah reminds us, “the term ‘pulp’ (or ‘pulp magazine’) refers to the cheap publications printed on poor quality paper in the United States during the first half of the 20th Century.”

    The exhibition revives the “pulp” look through a blend of scientific research, creative writing and popular culture. From the infinitely small to the infinitely large, the most advanced areas of science are now the realm of unexpected encounters with the real and the imaginary worlds. Each of the exhibition panels features scientific visuals based on a specific research area.

    The Amazing Science exhibition aims to explore scientific research by breaking – through a set of new cultural codes – with science’s occasionally inaccessible image, and by reaching out to the popular imagination” says Claire Lissalde, project leader and head of the Inserm audiovisual unit.

    Amazing Science, an exhibition designed and produced by the Inserm and CEA communications departments
    Project Manager, Claire Lissalde, Head of the Audiovisual Unit at Inserm
    Coordination for CEA, Florence Klotz
    Based on an original idea by Eric Dehausse, Inserm iconographer
    Proofreading by Maryse Cournut of Inserm
    Short stories by Claude Ecken
    Art Direction Alexander Cheyrou
    Science Editor Charles Muller

    A virtual visit of the Amazing Science Exhibition :


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