I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent Science op-ed that was a personal attack against a well-known and successful science communicator and neuroscientist active on Instagram and other communication and engagement platforms. Among other things, I see this issue as relating to insecurities, negative social conditioning, and lack of support that folks often face when pursuing careers in the arts, or even considering trying out an art form. Continue reading I don’t usually post selfies, but that’s about to change. OR, some things #scientistswhoselfie and #sketchyourscience have in common.
Last year, a book I illustrated was published! The book, Then There Were None: The Demise of Desert Bighorn Sheep in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, by Paul Krausman, details the demise of the desert bighorn sheep populations in the mountains around Tuscon, Arizona. It is both a conservation history and a warning for current conservationists.
I was delighted to recently bump into a review of it that also mentioned my illustrations.
You can order the book from the publisher, New Mexico University Press, here.
In Autumn 2017, I led a co-taught graduate seminar course called “The Art of Science Communication.” The first project we assigned to the students, who were all PhD candidates in the sciences, was to select a mural in downtown Laramie. They each developed an audio script (which they then recorded) that interpreted their chosen mural in a way that connected the mural to their own research.
Their research ranged from super-massive black holes to birds that are inadvertent gardeners in tropical rain forests. We collaborated with the Laramie Public Art Coalition and the Laramie Mural Project to make the recordings available online. And, the University of Wyoming Press Office helped us distribute a press release about the project that was picked up by the Gillette News Record.
Learn more about the course, other communication and engagement projects developed by the students, and more, at the course website they maintained: engagelaramiescience.weebly.com.
Click here to read the article, behind a paywall.
A few weeks ago, a friend wrote and asked me: “What natural history illustrators/artist-scientists would you want to use to inspire youth/adults to love nature, art, and science?”
- Cathy Johnson
- Jenny Keller – contributor to Field Notes on Science and Nature (see below)
- Bernd Heinrich – see also this piece with commentary re all his books/sketches
- John Muir Laws
- Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) – see also this piece from The Atlantic
- Beatrix Potter
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Genevieve Jones – “America’s Other Audubon”
- Claire Emery
And, here are a couple of books that can get you rolling with even more ideas & inspiring SciArtists:
- Field Notes on Science and Nature -essays with field note examples from about 10 different people who do field work and use field journals/notebooks.
- The Heyday of Natural History – great investigation of how the pursuit of natural history became a popular past time and then developed into specialized science
- I want to read this one: Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower: Artists’ Books and the Natural World.