Think emojis aren’t very important in the grand scheme of things? Consider Jessica Morrison’s view of them. She’s editor of Chemical and Engineering News and co-author of a plan to introduce nine new science-themed emojis to the existing 1300 Unicode-approved characters we all know better day after day.
“I spend a lot of time trying to make science more accessible to a broader community,” Morrison says, noting that science is underrepresented in the current emoji set. A lab coat, a test tube, a DNA helix and a petri dish are some of the characters presented to the Unicode Technical Committee for approval. Mid-2018 is the target date to decide which of the emojis become part of daily life.
“We’re trying to communicate science and increase awareness,” states Morrison.
Take a moment to think about the future of the emoji. With somewhat limited space on the world’s keyboards (even ever-expanding digital ones), the fight for an emoji presence among your smiley faces and tiny apples, trees and kittens will only get more intense as everyone from marketers to special interest groups push their own pixelated visions. Here’s hoping there will always be room for microbe and helix emojis.
— Adapted from “Three Qs,” Science magazine.