POPnology at the Ontario Science Centre

Pop culture and technology collide in POPnology at the Ontario Science Centre

Celebrate the greatest technological innovations derived from science fiction at the Ontario Science Centre with POPnology. This interactive, travelling exhibition explores how popular films, television, books and art influence our past, present and future. Through immersive games, hands-on robotics and futuristic technology, POPnology uncovers the magnitude of pop culture’s impact on how we connect, move, play, live and work. POPnology runs to August 6 and is included with general admission.

POPnology presents great examples of the convergence between popular culture and current technology,” said Maurice Bitran, PhD, CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. “From Jules Verne to Back to the Future, popular culture has an uncanny power to foreshadow technological developments. POPnology displays these triumphs of the human imagination in a compelling, interactive and entertaining way.”

POPnology reveals how light-bulb moments and breakthroughs often have surprising beginnings. Discover how science fiction elements from popular culture have become reality — from stepping into a room representing a time capsule of 1983 to coming face-to-face with the world’s first 3D-printed car. POPnology shows how far technology has come and how much farther it can go.

Through science fiction books and films we are able to simulate what the future may be,” said designer and visual futurist Edward Eyth, whose design concepts for major Hollywood films are displayed in the exhibition. “Fictionalized entertainment has often provided the platform for grand ideas to become reality, through the application of science and technology. There’s something about creative imaginings and the immersive quality of filmmaking that can make even the most incredible concept seem achievable.”

Eyth added: “POPnology shows how human imagination has the power to predict the future, and how the consequences of our actions can shape the future of human experience. The exhibition brings together science, creativity and innovation throughout history, and enables guests of every generation to participate in the experience.”

POPnology promises to captivate visitors of all ages with its interactive, informative and engaging exhibits. Go head-to-head with a robot in a game of tic-tac-toe; snap a selfie with the DeLorean time machine; meet one of the galaxy’s most beloved droids; speak with 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000; and pilot a mini Mars rover.

Durham College is excited to be sponsoring POPnology,” said Don Lovisa, President, Durham College. “Every day our students are working with, researching and learning about the latest innovations. From artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles and digital healthcare, we are preparing them to become the thought leaders and visionaries of tomorrow, so they can continue facilitating transitions from science fiction to science fact. We are happy we can contribute that same knowledge to this unique exhibition.”

To extend the POPnology experience, the Ontario Science Centre offers extended, hands-on programming throughout the exhibition’s run in collaboration with Durham College, STEAMLabs, The Maker Bean Café and The Gorilla Store.

POPnology includes:

• Hands-on robotics
• Virtual projection games
• Futuristic musical instrument technology
• Immersive games, including virtual reality gaming
• A screen-accurate replica jetpack from Disney™’s The Rocketeer
• A screen-accurate DeLorean time machine
• Robotic arm interactives

​POPnology is divided into four thematic areas:

1. How We Play: Examines entertainment technologies and their impact on how people spend their leisure time.
2. How We Connect: Presents the communications technologies that helped usher in a new era with the birth of social media — the game changer of the 21st century.
3. How We Move: Explores the history and evolution of human transport and includes a detailed overview of the advances that have transformed the way we move around the planet.
4. How We Live & Work: Showcases fascinating innovations currently shaping our lives, many of which were predicted long ago in books and movies.

Ontario Science Centre’s summer hours begin July 1 and run until September 3 when the Centre will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and until 8 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information about the exhibition and to purchase tickets, please visit OntarioScienceCentre.ca.

Photo credit: Stage Nine Exhibit Design
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