Use it and lose it

Ready to face the week ahead? Would it help if you knew it was Brain Awareness Week? Be sure to print out the poster, lest you forget to "Just Use It" this week or any other time.

At last, a week in to be conscious of our brains. What's next, Alertness Month? Water Safety Week? Actually, yes, those are coming up.

At first this just sounds like a misguided attempt to promote research. But then again, the Brain Awareness page has a pagerank of 7, pretty high on the Google's scale of web importance (equal to Drudge and Andrew Sullivan). Smirk if you will, but they're getting the word out about neuroscience research. Have there been other instances of self-consciously retro or hokey science initiatives like this? (I'm not counting those Enzyte commercials.) If popularizing science means resorting to this kind of detached, ironic marketing, we're in more trouble than I thought.

Anyway, under the detached irony, it seems like a serious and legitimate cause. You can read about last year's Brain Awareness Week, and be sure to check out the testimonials.

UPDATE: The Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have blogs. This kind of fits in with hokey marketing, if only NASA was hip enough to think of it themselves.