Peer Review Radio: Why Palaeontology?

Recently I was interviewed by Adrian J. Ebsary for Peer Review Radio, out of Ottawa.  It was part of a series of interviews about palaeontology that includes Gary Vecchiarelli, Brian Switek and paleoartist Ron Maslanka - all in one episode.

You can listen to the podcast at Peer Review Radio #16: Why Palaeontology?

There are also more podcast and video interviews with me speaking about art, science, and fossils on my Media page, found at the top of the blog.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Skeptically Speaking Podcast #94 - Art and Science

In case you missed last week's Skeptically Speaking Podcast with host Desiree Schell:

This week, it’s an hour on the intersection between science and the creative arts. We’ll speak to Lauren Redniss, author and illustrator of Radioactive, a visual narrative about the work, life and love of Marie and Pierre Curie. Art historian Jenna Marie Griffith explains the historical influence of science on the visual arts. And we’re joined by Glendon Mellow, painter, illustrator, and author of the blog The Flying Trilobite, to discuss the tension between creativity and scientific accuracy.

My thanks to producer K.O. Myers and host Desiree Schell for the interview.  A lot of fun, and great questions - one of them is edited out, and Desiree asked a question I was stumped to answer. Total brain freeze. The interview is also a good overview of the topics I raised at ScienceOnline11, though you'll have to wait for the video to see how David Orr, John Hawks and I handled even more than that.

After I speak, the segments with Jenna Marie Griffith and Lauren Redniss are fascinating. 


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow

Skeptically Speaking podcast coming

Busy week!


Today I recorded an interview with Desiree Schell for the Skeptically Speaking podcast, talking about science-art and my recent Scientific American Guest Blog post.  The full show, with art historian Jenna Marie Griffith and comic illustrator/author Lauren Redniss will be up this Friday 14 January, here.

The Scientific American post generated some discussion, which is great, leading up to the session at ScienceOnline11, (next week!) where I'll be talking about science-art with David Orr, John Hawks, and the group.  If past ScienceOnline sessions have taught me anything, it's that art inspired by and created with science in mind continue to both inspire and frustrate viewers.  Can't wait!

The post also generated some discussion on these links:
Exposed! Sensual Science - IdeaFestival
Ways of Exploring - John Hawks Weblog

...as well as another blog which is now password protected.


On another note, I've created a new Media tab across the top of this blog, gathering audio and video links featuring yours truly. Some day I'll have to film myself painting with an appropriate electronic soundtrack. 



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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.


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Scientific American Guest Blog


Today on the Scientific American Guest Blog I have a post entitled, Scientific Accuracy in Art. 


In it, I touch on fossils, math, a crucifix and microscopic paint. It attempts to answer: what is science-art for?

Would love if Flying Trilobite readers could head there to comment - disagree, support or ask questions!

The burgeoning field of science-art is one I love to explore.  Recently, I was also on a podcast on Atheists Talk with science-artist Lynn Fellman and host Mike Haubrich, and I have been discussing science-art some more on my own blog as I gear up for ScienceOnline11 in North Carolina in January.


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
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Fossils, Genes and Art - Atheists Talk Podcast

"Fossils, Genes and Art", the Atheists Talk podcast recorded today live on the radio, is now up!  Click here to listen, or here to go to the podcast on iTunes.

Thanks to host Mike Haubrich, to science-artist Lynn Fellman and to the Minnesota Atheists and AM 950 KTNF and its sponsors for the show. 
Okay, so:  about the parasite thing. Two years ago at ScienceOnline09, I brought up the idea that artists who are inspired by science (like moi) are somewhat parasitic on the science that inspires: we don't give a lot back, we don't direct research. (Review at Ars Technica of that session here.)

The group at scio09 resoundingly rejected this, and concede and agree:  science-artists do a lot to inspire and explore and speak to the scientifically literate and enthusiastic audience. However, the do little to lead actual research.

As soon as you couch a scientific idea in a metaphor, you remove it further from the data and evidence. This means it's not usually possible for it to stimulate a new hypothesis, and lead to new inquiry.  Science-art responds to inquiry, explores it. So in that sense science-art is parasitic.

Science-art contributes to the cloud of scientific inspiration and understanding; it doesn't coalesce into the lightning strikes of scientific research.
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This tweet...

 Glendon Mellow 
Uh-oh: I said artists are largely parasitic on science during the radio interview.

...has stimulated a bit of talk on Twitter (in typical reverse-order, newest at the top):

 


»
 Katura Reynolds 
@ 
@ So I'll claim that art (in form of illustration/drawing yr observations) can be integral to the *practice* of research.
 Katura Reynolds 
@ 
@ And many naturalists (like MS Merian) documented their sci discoveries thru art to capture data: 
 Katura Reynolds 
As illustrator, I've pointed out details that scientists missed...RT @: Very little art influences scientific research.
 Katura Reynolds 
Hm; I lack context for statement, but not sure I agree. RT @: Very little art directly influences scientific research.
 Brian George 
@ 
@ That's why I'm here. Can you link to the interview? I'd love to hear it if possible.
 Romeo Vitelli 
@ 
@ @ You can claim that you meant to say symbiotic but the liberal media misquoted you (works for Sarah Palin)
 David Dobbs 
RT @: Uh-oh: I said artists are largely parasitic on science during the radio interview. DD: That's it for you, parasite.
 Brian George 
@ 
@ How could you??!! *removes lamprey-like suckers from Neil Tyson's brainstem*

I think at #scio11 we'll be past this point - I don't think there's a lot more to say on it. Two years ago I underestimated the affect art has on science, yet I still contend it's a rare thing for a piece of visual art to lead to a new area of research.

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Listen this morning to Atheists Talk

This morning I'll be on Atheists Talk with science artist Lynn Fellman, hosted by Mike Haubrich.

We'll be discussing art and science, and I can't wait.

The show will be online at http://mnatheists.org/content/view/529/1/ at 10am Eastern, 9 am Central time.

And you'll be able to hear the podcast, likely later today. If you're attending ScienceOnline11, it will touch on some of the issues at the Art + Science session.

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This Sunday - on Atheists Talk Radio with Lynn Fellman

This Sunday 5th December, I'll be taking part in a discussion on Atheists Talk Radio with Lynn Fellman and our host Mike Haubrich.

I'll post the link on Sunday. You'll be able to listen afterward as a podcast, and an iTunes download!  Lynn and I will be discussing science-art, atheism and influence with Mike.

You can listen for the sound of my mouth hanging open as I gawp at Lynn's continued science-art awesomeness. Bonus points if you hear a drosophilia flying in.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.


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Secular Nation podcast now up!

Now you can listen to David Driscoll of Secular Nation magazine interview me about Darwin Took Steps, education, ScienceOnline'09, Toronto and being a young freethinker here. (- -really? young? thanks David!)

As an artist, I'm pretty pleased with the reception this painting has received so far. It seems to resonate with some pretty diverse folks. Not bad for something I speed-painted in three hours! (I think the drawing took about four.) I have plans for a younger Darwin piece for Darwin Day this year as part of the Blog For Darwin. Staircase not included.

It continues with a reading by David and editor-in-chief Tom Melchiorre of an interview with Dr. Massimi Pigliucci concerning Charles Da
rwin and Darwin Day. Darwin Took Steps is available as cards, prints, canvas repros and sweatshop-free t-shirts in a variety of colours & styles.

Half the proceeds from the sales of my Darwin Took Steps swag goes toward the Beagle Project. Tangled Up In Blue Guy Mike has written to Al Gore to bring the noble ship some attention. Artist Diana Sudyka of Tiny Aviary has contributed some crackingly good prints for the cause. Many others are working on much more.

Let's get that boat in the water!


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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.

Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Secular Nation Podcast featuring Flying Trilobite

***Edit! Scheduled date and time have changed! Watch the sidebar for details. (We don't want to overshadow Obama in that timeslot. He's a nice guy.)

In an upcoming podcast, I'll be speaking with David Driscoll on the Secular Nation Podcast.

My Darwin Took Steps image is featured on the current issue of Secular Nation magazine, thanks to editor-in-chief Tom Melchiorre.

Check it out, it should be fun. I'll have to gargle and speak in a whisper until then, but if you missed me at ScienceOnline '09 last weekend, you'll be able to hear my heroic tenor tones wax philosophical about art and science on Friday.


If the Darwin Took Steps oil painting is to your liking, don't forget to check out the reproductions available in my online shop. I think there's still time to pick up cards, prints, canvas repros and sweatshop-free t-shirts in a variety of colours to give to your evolution-loving and rational friends for Darwin Day (Feb 12th).

And half the proceeds from the sales of my Darwin Took Steps swag goes toward helping build a reproduction of the legendary Beagle that took Darwin on the voyage that changed everything. These Beagle Project people are serious, committed and inspiring. Why not help build an educational and scientific mission to resonate in our day as Darwin's voyage resonated in his?
Catch you on the podcast!

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.
Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time