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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Wonder: Keep The Universe Going!

Be a Patron for Starts With A Bang and bring the Universe to everyone.

“The universe is big, its vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles. And that’s the theory. 900 years, never seen one yet, but this would do me.” –Steven Moffat

As anyone who creates something new for a living can tell you, it’s hard to get others to appreciate your work. And even if you do, it’s harder still to get them to pay you for your creative endeavors. At the start of 2014, I moved Starts With A Bang — the blog I had been writing since 2008 — over here, to Medium. The clean, ad-free publishing platform was appealing, they offered lots of support, and helped me recruit a slew of quality contributors, including Jillian, Sabine, Brian, Paul, James, Amanda and Summer. Along with myself, we’ve been working hard to make Starts With A Bang great!

Images courtesy of (clockwise, from top left) Paul Halpern, Amanda Yoho, Summer Ash, Jillian Scudder, Ethan Siegel, Sabine Hossenfelder, Brian Koberlein and James Bullock.

We’ve now reached a point where we publish about five-to-seven new pieces each and every week on Starts With A Bang, and just as I love the Universe, I love getting to share its stories — and the story it tells us about ourselves — with all of you. The story of what the Universe is like from the smallest scales to the largest; the story from the earliest times to the present day and beyond into the far future; the story of everything that exists and how it came to be the way it is.

It’s literally the greatest story one could ever tell.

Image credit: Rhys Taylor (edits by me), via

It’s also still very, very important for me to tell this story — to the best of my abilities — in a way that’s accessible and free to anyone who wants to hear it. The Universe doesn’t discriminate in any way beyond the fundamental laws of nature, and the secrets of how it works should be available to anyone who wants to know them.

But to truly tell it to the best of my abilities, and to enable all of our contributors to tell their versions of that story as well as to expand what we’re able to do, I need your help. And to that end, I’m asking you to support me — and Starts With A Bang — as our Patron on Patreon.

What’s this all about? By donating a small amount of money, whatever you can afford on a monthly basis, including as little as $1/month, you’ll help support me and all our contributors, enable the continuation of Starts With A Bang, help us create new materials and also help fund the creation of new science communication projects.

Image credit: screenshot from our Patreon:

Here’s what we’re trying to do, from our Patreon itself:

Support Ethan Siegel and Starts With A Bang!

In 2008, I started Starts With A Bang to bring the story of the Universe — at the cutting-edge frontiers of scientific knowledge — to the world, in a form accessible to everyone. Since then, I’ve managed to expand it to include:

  • at least five original stories each week,
  • regular contributions from professional scientists edited by me,
  • and occasional special projects such as video, radio and television appearances.

But I’d like to not only continue to produce all that we do (and pay our contributors), ad-free, I’d like to create even more, and give my Patrons a chance to interact with me and get extra, bonus content! This will include:

  • opportunities to interact with me and each other through the forums here,
  • the creation of exclusive content for Patrons like newsletters, hangouts, and interactive Q&As,
  • the funding to create physical artifacts like books and posters,
  • the ability to unlock (and get early access to) the creation of podcasts, videos,
  • and ideally, as a long-term goal, the development of an educational television series.

There are plenty of other incentives and rewards available to supporters. Regardless of what you donate, you’ll be supporting the creation of free-to-access educational content on the cosmic story uniting us all!

Why should you pledge to support us? Well, if simply saying “thanks” for all the content we put out isn’t enough, here are some rewards I can offer:

And in addition, if we hit certain funding milestones, all Patrons (i.e., Patreon supporters), and sometimes, the entire world, will receive special bonuses, including:

Advance book chapter

$300 per month

Everyone at Star-level ($3/mo.) and above receives an advance book chapter (and you’ll get to vote on which one) of our first book, Beyond The Galaxy: how humanity looked beyond our Milky Way and discovered the entire Universe.

Begin creation of monthly podcasts

$500 per month

We will create a once-a-month podcast that runs for 15 minutes; you’ll get to vote on topics, with Supernova-level ($5/mo.) supporters and above credited and Nebula-level ($10/mo.) supporters and up appearing on our podcast.

Commission the creation of a Poster

$750 per month

We will hire and work with a professional artist/graphic designer to produce an exclusive, scientifically accurate timeline-of-the-Universe’s history poster.

Bigger and better things are on their way, along with all the awesome stuff you’re used to. (If you need to make sure this is legit, check out Patreon’s explainer video here.) Help make it happen, and I’ll do everything I can to make it worth your while. If you’re at all able to, please support us today.

I can’t wait to see all that we can wind up accomplishing together!

Leave your comments at our forum, and support Starts With A Bang on Patreon!


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