Finding the borderlands of science
An algorithmically-generated map of the world of science, to show youth the frontiers
We explored the Earth because a map showed us its edges. We hunger to explore the galaxy because we have charted the stars and imagined where to go next.
We know that we need kids to go into STEM careers, but we aren’t showing them the borderlands — the edges, the growth opportunities, the places in STEM where they can make a difference. Kids today are saturated with high production value media that dampens their audacity.
The Borderlands of Science is an interactive web map — scraped continuously and generated by emerging keyword clouds from peer-reviewed scientific journals — that shows people young and old where science is going.
Accessible from anywhere, the Borderlands map shows students and hobbyists how fields of science relate to each other, and catalyzes playful exploration with modern user experience design.
SynopsisThe Borderlands of Science is an interactive web map -- scraped continuously and generated by emerging keyword clouds from peer-reviewed scientific journals -- that shows people young and old where science is going.
Leverage PointWhen asked what single change she would bring about in a kid, veteran SRI edu researcher Barbara Means said “I would get them to take one elective science course”. This is a leverage point metric in a kid’s career. To incentivize it, we need to point them in a direction. A concrete self-discovered career goal and the message “you can make a difference” is that push.
BudgetWe are seeking $100,000 to execute this concept. Detailed cost breakdown available upon request. This costing dedicates 50% budget to the algorithmic infrastructure that would gather and organize peer-reviewed journal meta-data, and 50% budget to navigation front-end work to make that data explorable and beautiful.