Museum hires funny man to translate science

jstancill@newsobserver.com April 15, 2012 

Brian Malow

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN MALOW

How comical is a chemical? How funny is fusion? How often do you find hilarity in gravity?

If you’re Brian Malow, the answer is very.

Malow has a national following as a stand-up comic with a special, geeky side, and he’s the new curator of the SECU Daily Planet.

“He’s really a gifted science communicator and a terrific bridge between scientists and the public,” said David Kroll, the museum’s director of science communications. “He makes being a nerd fun.”

Malow, who comes to the Triangle from San Francisco, was interested in science before he became a stand-up comic, he said. As he developed his comedy routine, science kept creeping into the act. When he performed in front of conferences of engineers or Silicon Valley tech companies, he got a warm reception.

So along the way, he billed himself as a science comedian and never looked back. But he’s not only about laughs. As a freelancer, he shoots science videos for Time magazine and photographs insects on the side. He has a website called insectpaparazzi.com. And now he will be the emcee for science programs at the Nature Research Center’s Daily Planet, the three-story, high-definition theater.

“I don’t think of science as dry or boring at all,” he said. “I find so many aspects of so many different parts of it really fun and cool, and I think I convey that pretty well, too. That’s part of what my job is, to show how fun and fascinating it all is.”

Stancill: 919-829-4559

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