Solar Week - Ask a Question

Come here during Solar Week (next one: March 22-26, 2021) to interact. To post a question, click on your area of interest from the topics below, and then click on the "Ask New Question" button. Or EMAIL or tweet or plant in Answer Garden your question about the Sun or life as a scientist to us -- and watch for it to appear here.  You can also visit our FAQs (frequently asked questions). In between Solar Weeks in October and March, you can view all the archives here.

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 10/24/2018 12:03 PM by  Kris Sigsbee
Artistic scientists
 3 Replies
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages



10/24/2018 5:50 AM
    Are any of you artists? Does your art involve science or not? Did you ever think of becoming an artist?

    Mitzi Adams

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/24/2018 7:24 AM
    I am not an artist, but one of our colleagues, Steele Hill, is an incredible artist. I have not artistic talent at all, although in third grade, we did have art class. My favorite part of art class was working with clay, and of course, I made an ashtray for my mother. She kept it and I inherited it when she died. Another interesting story, and I will be giving away my age (64), while in that third grade art class, I drew a submarine with a red sky for weeks after seeing the movie Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961). I think this drove my art teacher crazy. The movie is about the Van Allen raditation belts (which had only been discovered about three years before the movie was made) catching on fire (which can't happen). Talk about global warming! If you see the movie, you might find it kind of funny. You can learn more about the Van Allen radiation belts here:

    Claire Raftery

    New Member

    New Member

    10/24/2018 7:34 AM
    I don't think I'd go so far as to call myself an artist, but I do love being creative. It's always exciting to find new and interesting ways to explain a scientific idea. Scientists use "cartoons" or simplified drawings of of their theories in order to help explain their point. Some of the most impressive science/art creations (in my opinion) come from the NASA Science Visualization Studio The folks who work there have incredible talent in translating really complex scientific ideas into beautiful illustrations and stories.

    I've had some students who were incredibly talented at art and sometimes struggled with which direction to choose. But they were surprised and happy to hear that there are career choices that need both!

    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    10/24/2018 12:03 PM
    I took a lot of art classes when I was a kid. I took classes on ceramics, as well as on textile arts like spinning, weaving, and dyeing wool. I also liked to draw a lot.

    As an adult, I have taken classes on stained glass, glass mosaics, and glass fusing to make jewelry. I've made two Tiffany style glass lamps and have made lots of smaller stained glass projects and mosaics. Making a stained glass lamp involves tracing the pattern onto glass sheets, cutting and grinding the glass pieces from the pattern to make them fit together, covering the edges of the glass pieces with sticky copper foil, using jig or a styrofoam lamp shade form with pins to help assemble the pieces, and then soldering over the copper foil to join the glass pieces together and attach the lamp shade cap. Sadly, I have not done any stained glass projects recently because you need a lot of space for the tools and supplies and it can take a few weeks to complete a big project like a lamp shade.

    As Claire pointed out, scientists often use "cartoons," as well as animations and other graphics to help explain their work. Some scientists work with artists to create these illustrations. However, not all scientists can afford to hire a professional artist to make illustrations for their papers and presentations, so we sometimes have to draw them ourselves. I've learned to use drawing and graphics design software like Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw to make illustrations for my work. These software programs are also useful for formatting and re-sizing graphs for publication in scientific papers and putting together conference posters. I've also taken classes on using computer aided design (CAD) software like AutoCAD and Inventor because scientists often need to design their own scientific instruments. The electron and ion detectors flown on most NASA spacecraft are custom designed for the mission by scientists and engineers by using CAD software to draw the instrument schematics in 3D. The drawings are then sent to a machinist who builds them. So there are lots of different ways artists help scientists and that being artistic can help people be better scientists!
    You are not authorized to post a reply.

    Twitter Feed

    Scientist Leaderboard

    Name # of replies
    Multiverse skin is based on Greytness by Adammer