Over the past few years there has been a surge in the interest of cute merchandise related to science, with cuddly microbes (1) being one of the early creations widely available. This trend can certainly be seen as a positive one, encouraging many your people to have an interest in science, and helping to dispel the myth that science is serious, boring and clinical, only suitable for anti-social and slightly strange individuals.
These cute and cuddly microbes, exact scale replicas of bacteria, come with a little tag containing the scientific name and some facts about that species, as well as an electron photograph or other image. They are a wonderful way to explain germs to children, and to help them better visualise the ‘germs’ they cannot see with their eyes, they are also a lovely novelty for students and professionals in science and a welcome addition to any lab. Science is full of innovation and creativity and it is wonderful that science can become something cute and colourful.
Many of these new cute science products are targeted at both boys and girls, which is a very positive, as the latter tends to be a minority in several of the scientific fields, viewing the subject as dull and difficult. Now, it is not uncommon to see girls wearing chocolate or caffeine molecule Tshirts.
A new plush toy has just hit the market is the plushie electronic component (2), which is not only super cute but also a wonderful way to make electronics and computing far less scary and rather cute. After all, the biggest fear is that of the unknown, making children and adults alike comfortable with these minute components that we often don’t see or notice can make the whole subject far less intimidating for a beginner.E Markham (2013). Sweet Science Blogspot