Communicating science with comics II: the oikos meeting

I have been exploring how to effectively communicate my results and engage with the audience. I just attended this week the Nordic Oikos meeting and presented a risky poster explaining one of my side projects in a comic stile. But I did one very clever thing: Partner with an artists (and friend, and scientific). I designed the outline and place a first draft of the graphs and text. Then I asked him to do whatever he wants on the cartoons to illustrate pollinators, soil, pests… He could choose the drawing technique and in summary, he had absolute freedom. It was so amazing that he even place myself and Vesna in the poster!

Oikos_final_lowresThe poster had very good critiques, and fulfilled its mission. Drawing the attention of the people and making a story easy to follow. I am looking forward to collaborate again with Jose Luis in another project to enhance science communication!

Full resolution PDF

Storytelling (communicating science with comics!)

On one hand I think scientists should stick to doing science and communicators should work with them to communicate Science. On the other hand, scientists tend to be very versatile, and doing outreach is one more fun thing to do. Moreover, by explaining your science to general public you force yourself to really understand what you are doing and think about it from a different perspective.

This christmas I had a rather long break and during this break quite a lot of people ask me what the hell I am doing for living. This breaks are also good to get inspired. My inspiration led me to explain what I am doing in a comic book [Read it here: science_comic_en, It’s just a few pages and I think is fun, I talk about bees, but also about beer, dinosaurs and sex (I hope that these last words have finally convinced everybody to give it a try)]. I think the format works pretty well. While writing it I thought my readers would be mainly family and friends, but who knows? I don’t think a full comic about my research will be super-popular among the general public, but if other Scientists in different fields explain their story too, I believe that the resulting comic would be a blast. Any taker to write another chapter?

The spanish version translated by Belén (always an invaluable help) is available here (science_comic_es). I did it in ComicLife software (for Mac), in case anyone is curious. I may do another chapter when I get more papers accepted. Well, only if people looks interested!