Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Read the article Surreal Science | Image Permalink

Nyokabi Musila
Pharmocologist, Kenya and UK

Science is about understanding our inner selves, the external environment, and the systems that affect us. The amoeba and atomic swirl represent microscopic systems too small to study with the naked eye, while electrons remind us of planets orbiting in the solar system. The multi-dimensional eye moves, flexes, and experiments to test new ideas—ideas that force us to recognize we are part of something greater.

Daniel Mietchen
Post-doc, University of Jena, Germany

This magnetic resonance matrix illustrates the convergence of evolutionary and developmental biology. A frog tadpole gradually develops in the top nine rows, while the last row takes us back 150 million years to ancient squid fossils called belemnites. The single green slice echoes Mietchen’s displeasure with the failure of the 2009 Iranian Green Revolution, as well as the Twitter practice of adjusting avatars to reflect one’s interests and allegiance.

Erin Conel
Silversmith, UK

We are but a speck in the vastness of a galaxy whirl, upon which a tool-wielding raven and a cuttlefish nestle with Huxley’s chalky cocoliths. The plane, sphere, and hyperbolic shapes symbolize Euclidian elliptic and hyperbolic geometries. Euler’s Identity represents the beauty of simple statements, while the coffee and donut equation signifies this former finance analyst’s favorite branch of math—topology. The native California bee represents concerns around invasive species. Conel’s new profession gets nods with the phase diagram and the periodic table. At the core is a six-point guide to the scientific method.

Andrew Maynard
Chief Science Advisor to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, US

This symbolically rich sketch covers many bases, from scientific tools—such as the microscope—to the mirror of science in which we see our place in the universe. We reflect that DNA is the common thread linking microbes to humans, primates, and worms. But we are reminded—and warned—that despite our ability to change, control, and make microscopic measurements, leveraging the environment has consequences.

Alex Maynard
Student

Judging by this sketch, Andrew Maynard’s 12-year-old son may pursue a career in astronomy and astrophysics. There are quite a few icons of science, including, as young Maynard explained, the first satellite in orbit—Sputnik.

Evren Kiefer
University of Geneva Graduate Student in English and Writing, Switzerland

Kiefer describes himself as someone who is intrigued by “awkward connections,” making him an ideal participant for the Exquisite Corpse. His concerns range from the possibility of unexpected asteroid strikes, to the rise of robots, to climate change. More hopefully, sketches of the space shuttle and Large Hadron Collider (situated just down the road from him) represent explorations of outer and inner space.

Andréia Azevedo Soares
Journalist and Imperial College Science Communication Researcher, UK

Azevedo Soares drew an open book featuring large lettering. Letters encode human nature through both genetics and literature, while the megaphone of modern communications broadcast their message. Bright eyes signify the sense of wonder that new discoveries inspire beyond their practical value. And the thinking man ponders science as both a problem solver and a threat—roles seemingly inseparable.

Jörg Heber
Nature Materials Senior Editor, UK

Less is more in Joerg Heber’s sketch of two people sharing the same thought bubble. Heber, a senior editor at the journal Nature Materials, emailed his picture within five minutes of the project’s launch on Twitter—making it entry number one. Given the speed of production, it’s probably also the closest to the spontaneity of the original Exquisite Corpse. Echoing some other artists’ thoughts about interdisciplinary work, Heber says his drawing represents “collaboration.”

Tim Jones
Science Communicator, UK

As someone whose purpose is to understand and influence the world, it makes sense that Tim Jones’ avatar would carry the tools to counter famine and disease. Science, cross-cultural empathy, and interdisciplinary collaboration can help resolve conflicts such as those between wildlife preservation and human activity (symbolized by the gibbon framed against the palm oil plant), evidence-based knowledge and policymaking (the glass-enclosed leaf), and religion and science education (the split half-circle containing symbols). Feynman’s illustration of quantum electrodynamics reminds us of discoveries ahead.

Seed magazine
Editorial Staff, US

Evan Lerner’s bird tweets about science from Maywa Montenegro’s tree, with roots tracing down to Veronique Greenwood’s liposomes. Lee Billings’ Herzsprung-Russell diagram tracks the life cycle of stars, while Cristina Luiggi’s microarray experiment provides a snapshot of gene expression. Nikki Bautista’s equation expresses sexual dimorphism and social equality. Joe Kloc’s Cantor set is notorious for its bizarre mathematical properties, and Greg Boustead’s network diagram symbolizes the importance of systems thinking to modern scientific exploration.

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