Science Communication and the Art of Not Stealing

Posted 14 March 2014 by Matt Shipman

I love art. In my free time, I enjoy visiting galleries and museums; in my professional life, I occasionally work with artists and designers on various communication projects. For these and other reasons, I know that art has value. And I’m not talking about some ethereal sense of moral, spiritual, or aesthetic value. I’m talking about dollars and cents. Art is, after all, a product. It is produced by the labor of artists. It is bought and sold – which... Read more

Modern Science, Meet the Modern Poet

Posted 27 January 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Charles Bane, Jr. Bane is the Pushcart-Prize nominated author of “The Chapbook” ( Curbside Splendor, 2011) and “Love Poems” ( Kelsay Books, 2014). My wife and I were recently watching a series, “How the Universe Works” on Netflix in which Michio Kaku bemoaned that contemporary poets do not write about the wonders of modern astrophysics, or write poems “to our real mothers, the stars.” This may be my only opportunity to say... Read more

Help Me Help a Great Science Blog Become Self-Sustaining

Posted 3 January 2014 by Matt Shipman

This is a post about a problem that I am hoping you, dear readers, will help solve. Namely, how can a creative, dynamic blog that started as a pet project evolve into an entity that is self-supporting? (And no, I’m not talking about myself.) One of the science blogs I fell in love with last year was Buzz Hoot Roar, which marries short blog posts with wonderful art to tell people about science. The blog is a labor of love,... Read more

Shoot What You Know: an Interview with Alex Wild

Posted 28 October 2013 by Matt Shipman

There is some truth to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. And, if done well, photographs can make science communication efforts more appealing and effective to a wide variety of audiences. Few science communicators use photography as well as Alex Wild. Wild has gone from academic entomologist to professional photographer, using his images to give viewers insight into the world of the insects that live all around us. His work has appeared in National Geographic, Popular... Read more

Inform, Engage and Inspire: an Interview with Jen Christiansen

Posted 6 February 2013 by Matt Shipman

Visual art is an important communication tool. To drive home the point, think of all the magazines you know of that have no photographs or illustrations. Short list, right? That’s because reading unbroken blocks of text simply doesn’t have the same appeal as reading stories and articles that are highlighted, broken up, complemented or entirely driven by images. But I’m a words guy, not an images guy. To get some insight into how science publications marry words and images, I... Read more

Art as a Science Communication Tool: I Need Your Help

Posted 4 February 2013 by Matt Shipman

Visual art has the power to inspire, provoke and fascinate. I know some incredibly talented artists that focus on scientific subjects, and I think their work is a beautiful and valuable science communication tool – but I'm having a hard time quantifying that value. So I want you to help me out. As a flack, I primarily use art (still images or video) to draw attention to a story. I rarely (if ever) use it to help tell a story... Read more