"What is autism" is a medical science question.  "How can people with autism adapt to society" is a social science question.  "Why would someone pay to see a movie in a theater with the lights on, the sound turned down, and anyone in the audience able to dance or yell during the show" is a scientificblogging.com question.

Movie chain AMC runs a monthly sensory friendly film.  And in their own words:
The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!
Kind of sounds like a quieter Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I digress.  The film is aimed to families with autistic children, that is, children who have a sensory processing disorder that makes it difficult or impossible for them to survive (much less enjoy) a typical movie.

By creating an environment that reduces the sensory overwhelment (just coined that word, I did), they open up a new social activity for these kids.  And, of course, more socialization by kids who don't get to socialize much leads to learning social skills, ultimately resulting in a better society.

What's the science connection?  Science defines things and can suggest solutions.  But science requires engineering to implement those solutions.

Want to prevent polio?  Design a vaccine!   But to actually, you know, prevent polio, you have to come up with an effective way to create and deliver the vaccine to a whole planet.

So I think this commercial effort is nice evidence that some companies take science discoveries (of the sensory component of autism) and think "hey, wait, we can do something about this!"  Yet another case showing the positive intersection of capitalism and science.

Here's AMCs 'public service announcement'/advertisement.  I'm not suggesting it's everyone's cup of tea, but isn't it nice that families with autistic kids are being offered tea at all?


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