October 17, 2016 – From Science to Stories

Science Pub RVA #38sciencepubrva-38-stickypost

Using her Nature piece as an example, Carrie Arnold shared her experience of what it takes to go from a scientific study to writing enjoyable, science-focused articles.

Carrie Arnold is a Virginia-based freelance science journalist who covers many aspects of the living world. She has an M.P.H in epidemiology from University of Michigan and an M.A. in Science Writing from Johns Hopkins University.   She’s a contributing editor at NOVA Next, and has also written for Mosaic, National Geographic, Aeon, Nautilus, Scientific American, The Washington Post and Women’s HealthShe is  the author of “Decoding Anorexia: How Breakthroughs in Science Offer Hope for Eating Disorders.”  She describes her work like this: Talk to some of the most brilliant and innovative scientists in the world.  Read their research.  Ask lots of questions.  Read more wacky and weird research.  Learn about quirky critters (6-foot birds with hatchet-like beaks! Algae that control the weather!).  Understand we are all under the sway of our microbial overlords. Realize that world is way more complicated than you will ever understand.  Try to put all of this awesomeness into words.  If this fails, brew another pot of coffee.  Finally, try to convince your grandmother that being a science writer doesn’t mean you write VCR manuals and that, in fact, you can’t help her set up her new TV.  She’s @EdBites on Twitter

We celebrated artoberVA by featuring art-science works in the social hour slide show, hearing original science songs from two local songwriters, Juliane Codd and Jeremy Hoffman, and participating in a Creative Sprint led by Mica Scalin.

Juliane Codd
Also a bicycle enthusiast, Juliane rode across the country in 2012 to raise funds and awareness for the affordable housing crisis.  She plays in two bands: ClusterfuNk Facebookand Murphy’s Kids Facebook  She grew up in Nashville, is a Boston University alum ,and loves living in Richmond.  She brings science to life in her middle school classroom through music, rhythm, and hands-on experiences and was recognized as a Super Teacher in May 2016.

Jeremy Scott Hoffman, PhD Twitter
Jeremy is a an avid mountain biker, has been performing improv comedy for 12 years, plays guitar, and writes songs.  Jeremy enjoys engaging with audiences “from K to Gray” to explore climate change and how it works on human to geological timescales.  He’s been a Science Communication fellow for both the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Mitchell Hamilton School of Law.  He’s new to Richmond and is now working with the Science Museum of Virginia, having completed his Ph.D in Geology with a focus on Paleoclimatology at Oregon State University .

Mica Scalin
 has been an innovator in the use of art and digital media for community engagement and creative development for over a decade. She has worked with independent artists as well as Showtime, CBS, NBC and the groundbreaking non-profit JDub. She is a partner at Another Limited Rebellion an art and innovation consultancy. From grassroots to broadcast, her passion lies in creating cultural experiences that make meaningful connections between people. She has a BFA in photography from Corcoran School of Art and Design.

Works from the below listed visual and performing artists were showcased in the evening’s pre-event slide show.

Daniel Crawford set climate data to music in collaboration with Dr. Scott St. George

A Song of our Warming Planet, 2013    Click here to watch video

Sara Faris, Certified Medical Illustrator, BioMedical Communications Specialist, Assistant Professor, Director of Scientific and Pre-Medical Illustration Program, Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University and founder of SciMed Studios. Her illustrative goals are to chronicle medical progress, and assist in translating/ transmitting scientific/medical information. Artistically, she seeks to meditate on the universal biological commonalities in all life, and to provoke dynamic but calm sensations through patterns of movement.  

Anatomical Sketches, 2005
Life Cycle of Malaria, 2007

Eugene Maurakis: Realizing that his scientific publications are limited in their reach to elicit a change in behavior, Eugene uses the arts and humanities to ignite a call to action. For much of the biodiversity he has spent a lifetime studying is succumbing to the human hand—what he call the CHIPPO factors (climate change, habitat alteration, introduction of exotic species, pollution, population growth, and overconsumption of goods).

Thetis’ lament – coral reef bleaching ©, 2016
Caribbean reef fishes ©2016

Bonnie Monteleone’s research projects vary from fieldwork collecting beach samples to lab analysis looking at plastic leachates, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) uptakes, and plastic ingestion by marine organisms. She collaborates with Pamela Seaton, Brooks Avery, Susanne Brander, and Alison Taylor. She is an artist and and the Executive Director of the Science, Research and Academic Partnerships

Plastic Ocean, 2012

Emily Nastases mission is learn by observing and exploring the natural world, and to share that knowledge through my artwork.

The Eggplant, 2013
Red-shouldered Hawk, 2013

Uma Nagendra is a PhD candidate in plant biology at the University of Georgia whose research focuses on the impacts of wind disturbances on plant-soil interactions in the Southern Appalachian mountains. She participated in AAAS/Science Magazine’s  2014 Dance Your PhD contest.

Plant-soil feedbacks after severe tornado damage, 2014 performance 
click here to watch the video

Cathy G. Vaughn is a full-time artist based in Richmond, Virginia. In 2014, Cathy developed a new art form. Using her own unique process which involves an interplay of intentional design and opportunistic chemistry. She named these fine art works “copper abstractions”.

UnknownPath, Abstract verdigris on copper, 2016
Kevins Fig, Abstract verdigris on copper, 2016