Press releases

Amazing Science*, a “pulp” and science exhibition

19 Oct 2012 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | Institutional and special event

Amazing Science*, a “pulp” and science exhibition

In a nod to the Sci-Fi culture of 1930’s American magazines, the Amazing Science exhibition brought to you by Inserm and CEA takes you on an exploratory journey into uncharted territory, on the frontiers of pulp culture, science fiction and scientific research.

Presented for the first time at the 2012 Nantes Utopiales, this new exhibition invites you to delve into the mysteries of life, matter and the universe. The Amazing Science exhibition has set itself a dual challenge: to promote discovery and understanding through enjoyment and to encourage explanation and learning through transformation.

Reinventing Amazing Stories

With the Amazing Science exhibition, Inserm and CEA continue to follow the adventurous trail blazed by Amazing Stories, the American sci-fi magazine first published in 1926. Back then, Hugo Gernsback’s publication regaled its readers with “scientific romances” complete with shock graphics, bright colours, striking typography and mysterious perspectives.

Opening on 7 November 2012, the Amazing Science exhibition will breathe fresh life into those old magazine covers – 20th Century science fiction reinvented by the 21st Century science. Claude Ecken, science fiction writer, comic script writer, literary critic, broadcaster and public reader†, will join in this revival of “science romances” with a series of short science fiction stories taking visitors on a 26-picture literary journey.

* Science-Fiction

Science and pulp culture

As Maison d’Ailleurs Director Marc Atallah reminds us, “the term ‘pulp’ (or ‘pulp magazine’) refers to the cheap publications printed on poor quality paper in the United States during the first half of the 20th Century.” The exhibition revives the “pulp” look through a blend of scientific research, creative writing and popular culture. From the infinitely small to the infinitely large, the most advanced areas of science are now the realm of unexpected encounters with the real and the imaginary worlds. Each of the exhibition panels features scientific visuals based on a specific research area.

“The Amazing Science exhibition aims to explore scientific research by breaking – through a set of new cultural codes – with science’s occasionally inaccessible image, and by reaching out to the popular imagination,” says Claire Lissalde, project leader and head of the Inserm audiovisual unit.

Inserm to inaugurate an innovative museum on 7 November 2012 

The “Amazing Science” exhibition[1] (‘pulp’ and science), co-produced by Inserm and CEA, gives a nod to Sci-Fi culture and marks the creation of an innovative digital device: an entirely virtual museum.

This virtual museum, located in a space vessel modeled in 3D, will present the entire content of the “Amazing Science” exhibition, taking visitors on a fun, immersive and interactive journey.

Visitors will be able to access the rooms of this special museum from their PCs, touch tablets, or smartphones. They will be able to admire the images, read and listen to texts and multimedia content. References to classic Sci-Fi films will be dotted around the various rooms.

Before the museum opens its doors, discover this virtual world by watching the trailer.

Presented for the first time during the 2012 edition of the Utopiales de Nantes, “Amazing Science” unravels the mysteries of living things, matter and the universe for the general public. This museum means visitors can see the exhibition at any time, with unlimited access!

To make science a truly cultural object, the museum will open new rooms over the next months.

It will be possible to visit the entire virtual museum at the following address as of 7 November 2012:

[1]Amazing science: surprising, unprecedented, astounding, unbelievable, stunning, splendid, fascinating science…

Amazing Science, an exhibition designed and produced by the Inserm and CEA communications departments

Project Manager, Claire Lissalde, Head of the Audiovisual Unit at Inserm.

Coordination for CEA, Florence Klotz

Based on an original idea by Eric Dehausse, Inserm iconographer

Proofreading by Maryse Cournut of Inserm

Short stories by Claude Ecken,

Art Direction Alexander Cheyrou

Science Editor Charles Muller

Mission Caladan (Editions Le Pommier 2010) Au réveil il était midi (L’Atalante 2012) Femtopetas (Forthcoming from Bélial)

Pulp illustrations from the Agence Martienne and the Maison d’Ailleurs collections.

Science photos from the Inserm Serimedis *image bank and the CEA Photo Library.

* Serimedis is an Inserm image bank open to the public and accessible online at: The catalogue contains over 14,000 photographs and 1,500 videos.

Press Contact
Inserm Juliette Hardy 01 44 23 60 98 [break]rf.mresni@esserp [break]CEA Tuline Laeser 01 64 50 20 97 rf.aec@reseal.enilut[break] Musée virtuel Claire Lissalde, Inserm, rf.mresni@edlassil.erialc