No “two cultures” here: send us your art
I’m fond of saying that while scientists often have a hankering to draw sketches, pen novels, compose songs, or carry out other acts of artistic creation in what available free time they have, you don’t find many creative artists hankering to borrow a bit of lab space for a few nighttime experiments. If you’re a scientist, the GSA would like to see some of the products of your creativity.
However, when I’ve shared this observation about scientists and artists with my wife—who has creative talents and hasn’t worked in a lab since high school chemistry—she bristles and tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. She points out first, that I don’t know enough professional artists to have even a clue as to what they do or don’t do in their spare time; second, that many creative occupations—from weaving a textile to cooking a complex dish; from sculpting a figure to knitting a sweater; from sketching a body to imagining a building—require consistent application of quantitative principles; and third, that scientists, of whom she knows more than a few, are no more well-rounded than anybody else. She’s no doubt right on all counts, although I don’t know that this has inhibited me from continuing to hold my misbegotten belief. Chalk it up to the Pghded locus on the Y chromosome.
But since most of you reading this are more likely to be scientists than artists, I’m guessing that you have a fair amount of pent-up creative energy, rather than pent-up experimental approaches that your day job as a filmmaker doesn’t allow you to exercise. The GSA would love to populate our blog with your creativity!
My request is for you to send us stuff: short (fewer than 500 words) stories, poems, haikus, spoofs or whatever else you’ve written or would like to write within this limit; cartoons, sketches or other drawings; artistic photos or photos of your artistic efforts—be they directed toward furniture-, pottery- or jewelry-making, fiber arts, woodworking or any other craft; short audios or videos of you singing, dancing, playing a musical piece you composed, performing a skit; or any other evidence of your unbridled creativity. We will look at all contributions (feel free to send more than one) and post as many examples as we can on this blog. You don’t have to be a GSA member to contribute—but we’d certainly be delighted to learn that you are one!
My fear is that rather than the thousands of artistic efforts I’d hope to see, we will get only three items sent to us, with one of these from someone now in my lab and another from a former postdoc in the lab. This outcome will ensue not because you’re not creative, but rather that you don’t believe your output is worthy of sharing or worth the minimal effort to forward on to us. Of course, it could be, too, that almost no one reads these posts, in which case if you’re the rare reader we need your contribution all the more. And after posting it to us, forward this link on to your friends with known artistic talents and push them to contribute. We’re looking to create a stunning site that showcases the other creative side of geneticists.
To submit your art, please email GenesToGenomes@genetics-gsa.org with “GSA-Art” in the subject line. Include your name, affiliation, some examples of the art you would like to submit, along with a brief description, and we will be in touch with further instructions.