From Painters to Potters, Scientists Stage an Online Art Show

By Elizabeth Preston | February 23, 2018 10:03 am

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On January 24, University of British Columbia geneticist Dave Ng tweeted, “It’s always interesting to me how kids react when they find out I’m a scientist who also does artistic things (like they can’t co-exist or something). Would love to start a thread where other scientists share their artistic tendencies. #scienceartmix.”

Ng posted some of his own visual art and writing, and invited others to chime in. Musicians, painters, dancers and more eagerly joined the dataset.

Aquatic ecologist and toxicologist Jennifer Archambault shared a cowl she knitted with a fish scale pattern.

fish cowl

By Jennifer Archambault (@JM_Archambault).

Neuroscientist Rachel Penton is an abstract painter. “I don’t think it’s unusual at all, but many people in the public/my students find it strange,” she wrote.

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 9.34.28 AM

By Rachel Penton (@BrilliantAqua).

Jared Sylvester tweeted, “I’m a machine learning / neural networks researcher, but I do calligraphy in my spare time.”

machine learning calligraphy

By Jared Sylvester (@jsylvest).

Structural biologist Annabel Romero tweeted about her watercolor paintings, which are sometimes inspired by science. This one shows plants whose genomes have been fully sequenced.

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By Annabel Romero (@opuntiavisual).

“I’m a toxicologist and also a florist. And I have a thing for decorating cakes,” Élyse Caron-Beaudoin tweeted.

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By Élyse Caron-Beaudoin (@ElyseCaronB).

Urban ecosystem ecologist Mitch Zuckerman is a photographer and singer.

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By Mitch Zuckerman (@ec0p0lis).

Geologist Lauren Shumaker—appropriately enough—makes clay pottery.

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By Lauren Shumaker (@thepuppenstein).

Kleo Pullin mixes media both artistically and scientifically. “I’m a technician, electron microscopist and geologist, probably an artist who does science. I combine 19th century wet chemical #photograms and digital reshoots. I also do performance art,” he tweeted.

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By Kleo Pullin (@resolvingdust).

“I have a PhD in nutrition/neuroscience , now working in research facilitation. Always loved to draw and getting into lettering and some graphic design,” Erin Prosser wrote. “Yay fellow renaissance peeps!”

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By Erin Prosser (@erinjprosser).

CATEGORIZED UNDER: brains, pretty pictures, top posts


Like the wily and many-armed cephalopod, Inkfish reaches into the far corners of science news and brings you back surprises (and the occasional sea creature). The ink is virtual but the research is real.

About Elizabeth Preston

Elizabeth Preston is a science writer whose articles have appeared in publications including Slate, Nautilus, and National Geographic. She's also the former editor of the children's science magazine Muse, where she still writes in the voice of a know-it-all bovine. She lives in Massachusetts. Read more and see her other writing here.


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