I just wanted to remind everyone that BP is still running ads like this on TV. When this came on, my mouth literally dropped and I yelled “Seriously, BP?”
I worry that these tug-at-the-heartstring PR campaigns will subtly become more effective as time goes on–time heals all wounds, right? We’re getting barraged with BP’s ads without any counter viewpoint. Why can’t we scientists produce equally appealing, public service announcements as a reminder that everything is NOT ok in the Gulf. That we won’t know the impact of the spill for years. That Gulf food webs (often ending in human consumption) could be concentrating oil-derived toxins. That we’re slowly killing our planet with our dependence on oil.
I will gladly go on TV, as a scientist, and iterate the long list of things we DON’T know. Remind everyone that we can’t make informed decisions without knowledge. Unfortunately, I don’t have millions of dollars at my disposal to run a pro-science PR campaign. (Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, do you want to pay for a production team? “Scientists for the Gulf”?) Yes, I have ‘got Milk’, and know that Cotton is the fabric of our lives–campaigns like this can have pervasive and far-reaching effects on the public psyche. Science and Technology drive the progress of societies, yet we are not often reminded of this through mainstream channels. Why can’t we run a PR campaign for Science?