Issue date: 08 January 2001

‘Science on the buses’ a project masterminded by Graphic Science, a project within the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England, is set to hit China by storm. ‘Science on the buses’ was piloted in Cardiff in 1997 and proved so successful that government funding was provided to spread the message nationwide.

Science on the buses aimed both to amuse and underline how central science is to everyday life. It was aimed at young adults, the largest group of bus users. The posters were targeted to them by borrowing design ideas and colours more often seen on advertising flyers for clubs.

A delegation from Beijing visited UWE in April 2000 and met Ben Johnson, a member of the Graphic Science team. They were looking for ways to communicate science to their young people and were extremely interested in using the approach developed by UWE’s team.

The outcome is an invitation for Ben Johnson and Frank Burnet to visit Beijing and Chongqing during a week-long visit to China in January. Frank said, “It’s incredibly exciting that a project that started on 25 buses in Cardiff might end up being used across China. We haven’t broken it to our design team yet that they might be dealing with Chinese characters.”

The Chinese trip is just part of a worldwide interest in the work of Graphic Science that has already taken Frank to South Korea, Germany and Croatia. The next stop after China is likely to be Russia.

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