The Avengers: Age of Ultron will without a doubt be a major blockbuster. The sequel to the 2012 Marvels The Avengers has already broken box office records abroad and projected for a big opening weekend in the United States.
While always popular (especially in some circles), superhero movies have exploded in the last decade or so, creating new fans and making billions at the box office. Many kids and even a few adults dream about being a superhero. There is a lot of "movie magic" in the forms of special effects to give the illusion that a becoming a superhero may be somewhat plausible. However, they also may use some pretty cool science in order to come out victorious.
That is the premise of the new video called "The Science of the Avengers." The short video was created in a collaborative effort by ACS Reactions and SciPop. ACS Reactions is a video team started by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Their mission of the series is to "uncover the chemistry in everyday life." It is generally referred to as Reactions and the team creates weekly videos using the power of media and science to answer some of life's most interesting questions or situations. Questions like "Why does bacon smell good?" and "Why Does Toothpaste make Orange juice taste bad?" are some examples. Since its launch in January 2014, it has hit close to 86,000 subscribers on YouTube with over 9 million views and growing. SciPop Talks (or just SciPop) is a weekly series of talks open to the public featuring science and pop culture. They're based in Nebraska at the University of Nebraska and Doane College.
"We got this idea (for the Avengers video) last year when we submitted (and later won) a Dreyfus Foundation grant for a SciPop/Reactions collaborative series that looks at the chemistry behind pop culture." Says Producer Elaine Seward, on their latest video. "The final video was partly based on James Kakalios' chapter for ACS' book Hollywood Chemistry on the materials science of the Avengers." She states.
In the video, they tackle a few different things. Without giving too much away, some of the things include Tony Stark's suit (what it is probably made of), Captain America's shield and Black Widow's super-fast healing. The video is presented in an entertaining, visually engaging, and also gets to the point. Most Reactions videos are under 4 minutes long.
So why write about this? Well, both ACS Reactions and SciPop are using the medium of pop culture and media (digital and social) to get people interested in the science field. No, they are not the first to do this, but if anything, it is a reminder that science (in all forms) is around us. Plus there is no doubt that the Avengers Age of Ultron will be massive at the box office (if it isn't already). So using this was a very good idea on all involved. Plus in the case ACS Reactions' video series, these videos are not thrown together at the last minute. According to Seward, they can sometimes take months of planning and communication between multiple groups (scientists, other members of the group etc.). So, while I like the random cat video like the next person, it is sometimes good to give props to those who work hard in this very competitive market.