Popsicule banner with purple background

It's Kinetic: Science goes pop

Publication date
Friday, 28 Jul 2023

What if there was an outrageously cool and fantastically bold way to get into science? Is it possible to bring science to life through art and technology, awe and wonder? 

Dr Anna Sophie Jürgens and colleagues designed and pitched the project, ULTRA PERCEPTION: Science goes pop   (short: UP). They seek to amplify a traditional medium – the book – into an interactive, technologically- empowered instrument for intergenerational exploration and learning, reimagining it from a physical object and conventional knowledge broker. 

This project was one of four winners of Kinetic funding, developed by ANU Physics, ANU MakerSpace and the Compton School for $50K, supporting ‘game changing ideas’. Over the next months, Dr Jürgens and team will create a prototype book and demo app around six different research themes that, ideally, can later be rolled out into individual books.   

In order for this series to come alive, it requires a cross-disciplinary, culturally diverse group of creative individuals: 

Dr Anna-Sophie Jürgens (Science Communication/Pop Culture Studies) is the Project Lead. She is a Lecturer in Science Communication at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science of ANU, and the founder and head the Popsicule - ANU's Science in Popular Culture and Entertainment Hub. With her background in cultural meanings of science and popular media, the book series is sure to connect to all.

Parents, for example, can read the book with their kids, educate themselves with the app's knowledge resources, and teach and discuss them with their children – a great way not only to grow intellectually and discover things together, but also to shine and show off as a parent! - Dr Jürgens

Dr Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (Web Science/Knowledge Representation) will lead in the design of the UP Book app. Terhi is a Senior Research Fellow at the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods. Her research involves interdisciplinary experimentation into the ways digital technologies can be used in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, including the role of gamification and informal online environments in education.

"Terhi, our UP App Ninja, will ensure that the UP App will add a mesmerizing, interactive digital layer to our ‘Science goes pop’ experience." - Dr Jürgens.

Dr Hanna Hoyne (Visual Art/Design) will design the pop-up book art. Hanna is a visual artist and researcher (and an ANU Alumna) working in public space design as a sculptor, muralist, mentor and curator.

"Our artist-designed 3D book pages will allow the reader to discover cutting-edge insights from the research of the Australian National University in an excitingly new format." - Dr Jürgens.

Additional ANU research collaborators will help develop the initial six funky pop up spreads including, Professor Jochen Brocks (Paleobiogeochemistry), Dr Laura Dawes (History of Medicine/Public Health Communication), Dr Claire Hansen (Health Humanities), Prof Alex Maier (Parasitology), Dr Dan Santos (Science Communication/Biotechnology), Dr Brad Tucker (Astronomy). Hopefully, their prototype pop up pages will become one book each in the future series. 

The Ultra-Perception pop-up book series is unlike anything you have ever seen. Everyone with a spark of curiosity, interest in augmented reality and new technologies, and readers alike will enjoy this series! Keep up to date with all things by following the blog for this project, by clicking here.