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.
He said so himself. And he regretted it.
Exhibit A, from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin:
“[Not being urged to practice dissection] has been an irremediable evil, as well as my incapacity to draw.”
It was actually Darwin’s shipmate on the HMS Beagle, Conrad Martens, who made the sketches best known from that expedition. And, it wasn’t until well after Darwin’s famous voyage to the Galapagos that a publisher sent an artist back to that region with the express responsibility to illustrate Darwin’s observations.
Most publications from Darwin’s era were similarly professionally illustrated, with many of the illustrations based on specimens he collected. However, these illustrations were not Darwin’s own work.
Mind you, Darwin did occasionally sketch, as can be seen in his diagrams of “trees” roughly indicating how organisms were related. And, there are a handful of rough sketches of plant cross sections and geologic formations scattered through his myriad notebooks. But, these few sketches pale alongside the copious volumes of written notes and manuscripts he made.
Darwin maintained he couldn’t draw.
So he didn’t ever do it. Continue reading Darwin wouldn’t draw. Seriously.