Science World celebrates nerds in fundraiser

Who: Rethink and Science World.

What: “The world needs more nerds,” a fundraising campaign for the Vancouver institution featuring a variety of “science superstars” like astronaut Chris Hadfield and naturalist Jane Goodall.

When & Where: The campaign is running through the end of the year across social and out-of-home. A previous iteration also ran on TV and radio earlier this fall, leading to more than $300,000 in donations.

There is also some “nerd swag”—including pins and T-shirts bearing messages like “the world needs more nerds” and “nerd in training”—available for purchase on the Science World website.

Why: Like many tourist attractions, Science World has been hit hard by the pandemic. While it has re-opened after closing in March, it is currently operating at only about 10% of capacity. One September report said that it has lost 85% of its revenue—about $8.2 million—since March, and could be forced to close temporarily.

How: The creative is built around images of well-known “nerds” as children, before they grew up to to make significant impacts in areas like science and public policy. In addition to Hadfield and Goodall, the creative features Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s very familiar Public Health Officer, and NFL star (and graduate in medicine) Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The ads feature the message “Fund the future. Donate today.”

And we quote: “Science World is in the business of inspiring kids to embrace their inner nerd. And we wanted to show that it’s a positive thing to be a nerd and to encourage kids to pursue their curiosity through the childhood photos of amazing individuals who have done the same.” —Teresa Virani, vice-president, marketing and visitor experience, Science World

Chris Powell