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Posted: Feb 25, 2011
Entertainment Industries Council partners with National Science Foundation to promote science, engineering, nanotechnology
(Nanowerk News) In honor of National Engineers Week, the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have announced a new partnership to promote careers in science, engineering and technology. The partnership serves to enhance EIC's ongoing Ready on the S.E.T. and ... Action! program in collaboration with The Boeing Company, by providing additional expertise in science and technology to the entertainment industry creative community under the auspices of EIC's First Draft brand.
In addition to offering experts to writers, producers, directors, performers and creative executives on any and all areas of science, engineering and technology on-demand, the First Draft effort with NSF's Science Scene program in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs will also provide publications with depiction suggestions to creators, as well as conducting topic briefings. The first such briefing will take place in July, at the start of the television writing season. The half-day event, described as a sort-of "writer's boot camp," will offer up scientists and engineers in a variety of cutting-edge fields that may be useful to story development and technical guidance. Topics are expected to include such areas as nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence, bioengineering (including artificial limbs and implants), forensics (including DNA analysis and miniaturized lab techniques), as well as artificial life and genetic engineering-and exciting tie-ins to aerospace engineering, among others.
The partnership with NSF is part of a larger EIC initiative to promote these career areas that includes recognizing creative productions and journalism dealing with science, engineering and technology topics through the newly launched S.E.T. Awards, which are now undergoing judging.
"If we don't steer young people toward how exciting and rewarding careers in these fields can be," said EIC President and CEO Brian Dyak, "we will lose a generation of great minds and thinkers, causing jobs in these fields to go elsewhere and making our country less competitive in the global economy."
"The president has made it clear we must leave no stone unturned in our efforts to reach and inspire the next generation of innovators if the nation is to keep its leadership in the global technology economy," said Leslie Fink, a senior public affairs specialist at NSF who heads the Science Scene program. "This partnership represents the kind of creative teamwork necessary to engage mass-media audiences in this critical challenge."
"Hey, the NFL, the NBA, the LPGA and the rest are great, but there's another set of initials that stands for the future! I'm talkin' about the far-out NSF, the National Science Foundation," said EIC Trustee and comic book legend Stan Lee, who has created quite a few scientist and engineer characters during his career. "Just think - without science there'd be no cell phones, no video games, no 3-D, no engineering, no robotics! Nothing's cooler than science! So young people better get with it or get outta the way so they don't get crushed by the next big thing to come down the pike!"
"By partnering with entertainment media, we can positively influence the perception of technical careers and inspire a new generation of innovators," said Rick Stephens, senior vice president of Human Resources and Administration for Boeing, the world's leading aerospace company. "This partnership complements our efforts to improve education at all levels particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math which are critical for tomorrow's jobs and future competitiveness."
EIC shepherded Senate Resolution 623, which was passed unanimously recently, "commending and encouraging the promotion of interest in science, technology, engineering and math by the entertainment industry". The Resolution was sponsored by Senators Ted Kaufman, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
Pauley Perrette, star of CBS's hit show NCIS, has signed on with EIC for a public service campaign, encouraging young people to consider careers in engineering. A series of video vignettes starring Perrette, who plays a forensic scientist and tech guru on NCIS, will each put forth a challenge to one of four target audiences-parents, engineers, students, or media. The campaign will be conducted primarily online through both targeted and viral distribution, taking advantage of the popularity of both the actress and the TV series. The vignette will also appear on NSF's Science Scene web site.
"It has been such an honor to portray the character of Abby on NCIS for more than 7 years," said Perrette. "This fictional character has become an inspiration to young girls all over the world that careers in math, science, engineering and technology are acceptable, attainable and available to them."
CBS is participating in the campaign by placing a longer vignette addressing all four of the target groups on the NCIS web site. This version has also been posted by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering on their web sites. "While the character of Abby on NCIS has been a great role model for young people interested in pursuing a career in science, Pauley herself is an inspiration to everyone with her commitment and determination to this cause," said NCIS Executive Producer Shane Brennan.
EIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders of the entertainment industry to bring the power of the industry to bear on health and social issues. The organization is considered to be the chief pioneer of entertainment advocacy outreach and one of the premiere success stories in the field of entertainment education and information resources for entertainment creators. EIC has developed innovative and time-proven services and methods of "encouraging the art of making a difference" from within the entertainment industry.
EIC addresses numerous health issues including mental illness and substance abuse, for which they host the PRISM Awards, which honors those media performances which accurately portray these issues. The SET Awards will similarly honor those programs which accurately portray science, engineering and technology free from traditional stereotypes. Its web site is located at http://www.eiconline.org . For more on this initiative, go to http://www.eiconline.org/ReadyOnTheSet.
The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education, as well as research facilities and instrumentation across all fields of science and engineering. Each year, NSF funds the research projects of some 200,000 top-notch scientists, engineers, educators and students at universities, laboratories and field sites throughout the United States. They include experts in scientific disciplines from literally A to Z - astronomy to zoology - who are committed to communicating with the public. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding and makes over 11,500 new funding awards.