Jewellery, ornamentation, decoration. From wedding rings to circuit boards, humans have found many aesthetic and technological uses for a certain element on the periodic table. Gold is indicated by the periodic symbol Au (leftover from the Latin word aurum, or shining dawn, an obvious reference to its color) and is a remarkable chemical, if only … Continue reading What’s the Deal with Gold?
If I am to profile scientists and artists as part of this blog, I would be deeply remiss to leave out Leonardo Da Vinci. So allas, here he is. Funny looking guy, come to think of it. When one does a Google search (as one does these days) for Leonardo Da Vinci, the summary of … Continue reading SciArtist Profile: Leonardo Da Vinci
I hope to write a series of posts on the science of painting, because it really is quite involved. Interestingl Some of the best painters I know claim to hate science, and yet the ways that pigments and binders interact with substrates is pure chemistry. There were some fancy words there. Some definitions: Pigment is … Continue reading Science of Painting: Why Oil Paint?
I'll confess, I had originally written the following true story for a very different purpose, but it seems to fit perfectly into the ethos of my blog, so away we go! I am not great at memorizing taxonomic names. Frankly, I’m unsure who is. But as a biology student, it was a cross I had … Continue reading Story Time! – The Plant Book: Drawing to Learn Taxonomy
I’ve been thinking a lot about illustration lately because part of my resolution for (just before) the New Year is to devote more time to artwork, particularly physical artwork on paper. I’ve already written about how I will never have the required technical skills to be a scientific illustrator, but this has made me think … Continue reading Medical Drawing and Aims of Drawing in General
It’s Christmas! My manic insistence to write every single week outweighs my urge to take time off to be “festive” (the latest politically correct term from the UK), so Merry Christmas (or whatever other festive celebration you participate in). Christmastime always makes me think of light. And light, like much of everything, gets me thinking … Continue reading Technology and Art: Light
At one point in my life I was convinced I could become a scientific illustrator. I guess this isn’t the most shocking revelation to make on a blog about art and science, but it’s surprising to me in retrospect that I thought myself capable of it at all. Here are some of my illustrations: … Continue reading My Obsessive Admiration for Scientific Illustrators (and why I’ll never be one of them)
I have been attempting to absorb as much theater as I can while I’m here in Edinburgh (then I suppose I should write theatre), but there’s one show I saw advertised that I resolutely refused to see. I saw it as in defiance of my moral principles! Upon reflection, that would have been an excellent … Continue reading Can Technology Perform?
Today, materials engineers are exploring sophisticated polymers, alloys, and nanomaterials, but don’t be fooled. Materials engineering is an ancient discipline. Since the earliest humans in the Stone Age found the first shards of obsidian (volcanic glass), the material has been useful and fascinating to us, and we have sought methods to make it ourselves. In … Continue reading Glass: The Earliest Materials Engineering
Astronomy strikes me as perhaps the most aesthetic science of them all. It is certainly the oldest scientific discipline, with early records of astronomical data going back 5000 years to the Mesopotamians, who first attempted to plot what they saw when they looked at the night sky. The interesting thing is, though the night sky … Continue reading The Aesthetic Fantasy of Space