The Art of Scientific Illustration Animals Paleontology Science & Art 

The Art of Scientific Illustration

By Shayna Keyles Twitter @shaynakeyles Instagram @shaynakeyles Scientific illustration is more than just cool artwork. It’s a way of conveying technical detail that other tools can’t provide; of capturing the complexities of organisms or fabrications that are too small, too far away, too extinct, or too difficult to dissect; of sharing intimate research in a globally understood language. Pictures of discovery Illustrations have always been used to track observations and inform others. There are drawings of animals in the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc caves in France that date back 30,000 years and are…

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STEAM: Adding the Art to Science Science & Art 

STEAM: Adding the Art to Science

By Cathy Seiler @cyc55 What comes to mind when you envision science? A scientist looking through a microscope? A pipette slurping up liquid from a tube? A whole bunch of equations on a blackboard? These snapshots often depict science in the news or in movies, but what really brings science alive is the image at the other end of the microscope, the structure of proteins in that test tube, or the physical problem being modeled with those equations. This is where the art comes in. People have been drawing or…

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ancient bird wing preserved in amber Paleontology Science & Art 

Amber Preserves Details of Ancient Bird Wings

By Emily Willoughby @eawilloughby I am a paleoartist—a scientific illustrator whose job is to combine paleontological research with inference, logic, and a healthy dose of creativity to produce illustrations of long-extinct organisms. We are uniquely tasked with translating research into representations of real creatures that the public can see and experience as animals that lived and breathed, rather than as movie monsters or collections of measurements and static bones. This is no easy task. Accuracy always takes precedence, and the rendering must closely conform to the glimpse of reality granted…

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Dinosaur Dromaeosaurus by David Alden Paleontology Science & Art 

Dromaeosaurus: Dinosaur Brought to Life in Colorful Sculpture

By Shayna Keyles  @shaynakeyles David Alden is a sculptor who, in his latest project, combines his enthusiasm for paleontology and fine arts. Over the past two years he worked with a team to create a gorgeous life-sized sculpture of Dromaeosaurus albertensis, a dinosaur that lived during the Late Cretaceous period in what became the western United States and Alberta, Canada. I spoke with Alden about his motivations for undertaking such a project, how to fact-check a sculpture, and what’s next on the horizon. GotScience: What first inspired you to do…

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Yosemite Half Dome, Max Goldberg 2016 Photos Science & Art 

Yosemite, Half Dome in Photos

By Max Goldberg @GoldbergISD When you think of Yosemite, Half Dome probably comes to mind (it’s on the park logo, after all). So, as part of our family trip to Yosemite, I had to see it. Coincidentally, Half Dome was visible almost all the time during the three days we were there, giving us multiple-angle views of the unique rock formation. After a four-hour drive from San Francisco, we got our first view of Half Dome at an overlook called Tunnel View. Some people say that Tunnel View is the best…

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photographing snowflakes Photos Science & Art 

Photographing Snowflakes: Sky Crystals

By Don Komarechka  Snow: We love it and hate it. I’d rather not count the number of rushed mornings that become panicked when I realize I need to dig out from underneath a heavy blanket of frozen frustration. By the trillions, snowflakes are definitely a nuisance, but one at a time they can be one of the most beautiful and curious subjects I have ever photographed. There are a few simple rules—and a few complex ones—that govern how a snowflake grows. The easiest way to understand the shape of a…

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Painting the Way to the Moon Astronomy Science & Art 

Painting the Way to the Moon: An Impressionist Portrayal of a Rocket Scientist

By Dan Spengler Ed Belbruno is a self-admitted motormouth. Painting the Way to the Moon, a new documentary about the mathematician and painter who previously worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), does not prove him wrong—it mostly features Belbruno talking about himself. Painting the Way to the Moon takes its title from Belbruno’s experience of finding inspiration for a ballistic capture trajectory to the moon in a painting he made, but ultimately struggles to find a clear identity. Belbruno tells most of his own backstory, with brief comments from…

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Photos Science & Art 

Alaska Wildlife Photography: Behind the Scenes

Hello! My name is Max Goldberg, and you may have seen multiple stories and photos of my adventures in Alaska last summer. As you read, you may be wondering, “How did he get those pictures? They have to be fake. Also, how do I get to Alaska? What gear do you recommend?” Before we get into all that, I should give you a little background. First, you simply cannot just get up and go to wild Alaska, unprepared. Not only dangerous, but incredibly stupid. During the entire trip, my father and I…

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skeleton Animals Biology Oceanography Science & Art 

Preserving a Soft Skeleton: Backs without Bones

By Sebastien Enault What are shark skeletons made of? The skeleton of modern sharks, rays, and skates consists of cartilage, a connective tissue that is lighter and more flexible than bone. Most people closely associate the skeleton with bone, and are familiar with the skeletal structure of many ancient and modern vertebrates, which are beautifully described in a vast number of anatomical works and frequently displayed in most natural history museums. However, while sharks and rays are very popular in aquariums around the world, few people actually know what their…

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Animals Photos Science & Art 

A Tale of Two Turtles: Part 2

By Steven Spence This is the second part of our series on turtles and how cute animals can inspire successful conservation efforts. Have you read A Tale of Two Turtles: Part 1? Best-Looking Turtle in the World Chris Van Wyk, photographer and conservationist, was in the right place at the right time to capture incredible photos of an algae-covered Mary River turtle. His photos went viral and appeared in major newspapers worldwide. Thanks to this photogenic turtle, conservationists were able to save its habitat from a dam that was going…

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