How To Monetize Scientific Controversy

Chad Orzel, who is an excellent physicist and author even if he is a Syracuse fan, had a good point: how do you monetize the scientific controversy you cause?

Two approaches spring to mind. You can make products to address the problem you’ve raised. If you were using my child safety seat example, you could create a small neck pillow like the ones that travelers use on airplanes to help keep kids’ heads on their necks.

But that requires some invention, a capital outlay, and someone to pitch your product. Even if you’re successful you may end up with a quick-flash fad like Crocs or a Joss Whedon show. A far safer approach is to become an “expert” in the controversy and aim for speakers fees and book deals. True, you may have to start at the shallow end of the pool by blogging, but you don’t have to stay there. In fact, if you manufacture your controversy carefully enough, you can even get a foundation created around you to support your advocacy.

Great. Now I need another shower.



  1. Janet Holmes
    on November 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    You have no idea, you don’t actually have to do anything more than ask that people send you money so you can continue the fight ‘for the sake of our children’! Do a video of yourself sitting on the gravestone of a toddler and say it died from the use of child restraints ( it didn’t of course but that doesn’t matter) and with a bit of sob in your voice, beg for money. Put it on You Tube and the millions will role in! I expect a fee for this advice of course, 10% should do it …

  2. jimf
    on November 24, 2009 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    worked for Al Gore…

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Skip to content « Pearl Jam Discovers Internet Memes How To Monetize Scientific Controversy » […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fred S Langa, Robert Westbrook. Robert Westbrook said: @UndigestedHusks You can now monetize any manufactured scientific controversy! […]

  3. By How it always starts « A Man With A Ph.D. on November 15, 2009 at 3:25 am

    […] only has he exposed their schemes but he also knows how they make money at it. Controversy will always get them on TV. And if they are glib enough, they’ll get passed […]