Who remembers Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail? “Bring out your dead, bring out your dead…” How about bringing out the undead - into the scrutiny of neuroscience? The new field of zombie neuroscience combines the public zombie obsession with serious science aimed at teaching the public about brain research through the lens of zombie behavior.
Zombies are hot right now; a friend recently ran a 5K race that involved dodging zombies en route to the finish line. Postdoc Bradley Voytek and Assistant Professor Timothy Verstynen use this zombie epidemic to their advantage, using bona fide neuroscience concepts to postulate how zombie brains are different from normal humans. They’ve spoken at Comic Con and other popular venues and they are advisory board members of the Zombie Research Society (who knew?).
Yes, zombie research won’t get you tenure, and Comic Con isn’t exactly an AAAS meeting. But reaching the public in an interesting, meaningful way is important! What tools or cultural trends do you use to make science relevant? Are zombies an appropriate outreach subject for serious scientists? Weight in!