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Hollywood's Help

Alan Alda recently wrote an editorial in Science about a science communication project he's launching. Icelandic singer Björk's latest album is based on themes of science and nature, and her recent tour was accompanied by a series of shows at the New York Hall of Science to help teach kids about concepts like viruses and the Big Bang theory. Even the Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am is producing a TV special for school children called "I.am FIRST — Science is Rock and Roll," about the importance of science and technology.

These are but three examples of a growing trend, says NASA astrophysicist Marc Kuchner at the Scientific American guest blog. "Of course, the bulk of our task to restore science to its rightful place in American society remains ahead of us," he adds. "But I wonder if the good work done by these stars signals the beginning of a deep change in our culture. Is science starting to become cool again?" According to Kuchner, there are signs that "a cultural shift toward interest in science might be appearing all around us."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.