FlatandJuicy – a company that aims to, in its own words, ‘provide a visual and creative voice for science, technology and cultural R&D expeditions’ – yesterday launched a Kickstarter for an ebook platform that hopes to do just that, providing ‘visual and creative interpretations’ of research missions worldwide. The campaign is to fund the publication of its first title, City of Elephants, focusing on The Berenike Project, a 30-year archaeological mission started in Egypt in 1994 that encompasses ‘war elephants, ancient cities, weapons, ships and armies, ambition and power in the ancient world – in a time when Greek kings sponsored science, learning, technology and exploration’.
FlatandJuicy founder Jean-Louis Rivard says of the launch ‘The scientific publishing industry is broken and instead of adding value to visionary work it hides it behind steep paywalls, ridiculous publishing fees and closed bundled journals. We aim to help change that.’
Rivard continues: ‘The goal is to provide a visual and creative voice to amazing research and development teams around the world, something that helps builds an audience for their work, and inspires minds young and old to explore, dig deeper into a topic, and hopefully pursue science and research themselves. I hope people will find it a worthy cause, and help us on Kickstarter.’
City of Elephants is co-authored by Rivard and Dr. Steven Sidebotham, founding director of The Berenike Project. Rivard, besides his role as founder of FlatandJuicy and director of media & technology for the archaeological mission, is digital media producer for the in-development Canadian TV series Wild Archaeology.
Proceeds from pledges on Kickstarter will go towards publishing the ebook and web apps of City of Elephants across mobile devices. Rewards for the Kickstarter campaign range from a copy of the ebook and a shout-out on FlatandJuicy for contributing $18, through the $25 Science Explorers Membership that incorporates the ebook, the app, bonus content through the app, a postcard, shout-out and an explorer’s badge and is included in all higher contribution packages, all the way up to a two week stint as a visiting specialist on-site in Egypt for anyone willing to pony up $10,000 or more.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.