March 6, 2015

A stunning week of #SciArt draws to a close

by Julia Rosen

This week, Scientific American’s Symbiartic blog decided to try something new: they asked Twitter users to tweet pictures of scientific art — from spectacular satellite photos to science-inspired quilts — accompanied by the hashtag #SciArt. The goal was to highlight the role of imagery in science by instigating a #SciArt Tweet Storm. The mastermind behind the plan, artist and illustrator Glendon Mellow, initially hoped to garner around 1,600 tweets per day. However, the storm blew way past his expectations, generating more than 4,000 daily tweets! It’s easy to see why: science and art go together like peanut butter and jelly, or maybe, like protons and electrons, matter and antimatter, neurotransmitters and receptors…you get the idea.

Here are a few gorgeous science images to celebrate the final day of a wildly successful #SciArt week.


Here’s a Landsat image of phytoplankton blooms in the Baltic Sea, which reminded NASA scientists of Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/USGS)

Here’s an illustration of jellyfish by Ernst Haeckel, from his 1904 book Art Forms in Nature. (Public domain)

Here’s a colony of bacteria called Paenibacillus vortex, cultured in a lab by physicist Eshel Ben-Jacobs at Tel Aviv University. (Credit: Paenigenome, CC-BY-3.0)

Here’s an image of the mineral forsterite, which might be useful for capturing and storing carbon dioxide, taken using scanning electron microscopy. (Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)


Check out some of the lovely illustrations used to explore scientific concepts in Visionlearning modules.

Visit Scientific American’s Symbiartic blog for updates on the #SciArt Tweet Storm.

Scroll through the ever-growing list of #SciArt tweets on Twitter.

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Written by

Julia Rosen is a freelance science writer and PhD student at Oregon State University. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University before beginning her doctoral research on polar ice cores and climate change. In between, she did her “Master's” in backpacking around the world and skiing. Julia is a periodic contributor to Oregon State’s research magazine, Terra, and helps write blog content and develop learning modules for Visionlearning.

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