The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome Review
Marvel at the universe with Brian Cox, Robin Ince and more on your iPad
Many of us cannot resist a glance upwards at the stars on a particularly clear night; curiosity is a part of the human condition. The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome is an app that celebrates our wide-eyed wonder by bringing together a collection of scientists, writers and performers to talk about the things they love about science and the universe we inhabit.
It’s a unique angle to approach the App Store at, but there is no doubting the appeal once you begin watching all of the short videos. Whether it is celebrity physicist Professor Brian Cox discussing his earliest memories of science, Richard Dawkins on biology, or comedian Stewart Lee sharing his experience of explaining gravity to his young son, there is a mixture of both knowledge and entertainment to be gained from Cosmic Genome.
The introduction video from comedian and radio presenter Robin Ince leads you to a periodic table of contributors, each one of them talking about the field of science they find the most fascinating. Every profile comes with a short video as well as a transcript. Users can choose to either stream content or download it to their device, so it’s always instantly accessible, even offline. Like the videos, the interface is accessible with taps and pinch zooms being all you need to get around.
There is also a special topics section, which is a selection of short videos on a single topic by the same batch of guests. The app offers an impressive range of content, balancing hard science with observational humour, offering hours of thoughtful viewing. However, the gaps on the periodic table screen hint at the promise of future videos.
Cosmic Genome has a slightly unconventional structure in that it requires a subscription to receive the new content each month, as well as as the initial purchase. Outside of magazine apps this is rare, but just like the speakers within the app, curiosity might just get the better of you.
If you’re thirsty for knowledge and discussion then this app is most definitely for you.
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