How do you sell a cure for cancer, or the promise of one? How do you sell science? You would think that some of the amazing discoveries would sell themselves, but it isn’t always the case. When there has been a long track record of making promises and not delivering, people grow more than a little blase about the whole hoopla surrounding a possible cure.
Show me something is the cry of the day. Impress me, is the demand. So the scientist has to become something of a showman – he has to entertain. The scientist has to get his PR in and he has to advertise his product.
So, what do they give us to get our interest? They give us the fact that they have found a way to unboil an egg.
When an egg boils all the proteins get tangled up in it in a more disordered form – this has, up until now, been a set unchangeable thing, but they have found a way to pull apart the proteins and rearrange them into their original shape. A similar process of cellular entropy takes place with cancer – proteins misfolded into useless shapes that it has been hard to reverse. This process developed by Gregory Weiss is quick to do and should simplify and cheapen what it normally takes a huge investment to pull off with current cancer antibodies.
The idea piques your interest and for a moment the simple wonder of this scientific magic trick taps into some childlike amazement. Unboil eggs – reverse cancer. It’s a subtle sleight of hand use of analogy that doesn’t baffle the everyman with science.
It works in the same way that showing someone a picture from another planet inspires the imagination more than a talk about rocket fuel and stage separation is ever going to do. Well, for most poeple that is. There is of course that whole section of geekdom who dig into that stuff like Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, but making science user friendly is a great way to get people on board as far as funding these projects goes. Imagination is the key, and a great PR tactic.