The September SciComm Challenge:
“Team up for a SciArt Collaboration”
This month, Lifeology is challenging you and giving you the opportunity to form a 2-person collaborative team – one scientist & one artist – to create engaging SciArt!
At Lifeology, we strongly believe in the potential for art to improve science communication! Our hypothesis is that an artistic perspective on science can make it more accessible, engaging and enjoyable. But to make this happen, we need to encourage scientists to work with artists and value their unique perspective. This challenge is a test of our SciArt hypothesis!
“Our hypothesis is that an artistic perspective on science can make it more accessible, engaging and enjoyable.”
On this note, the theme for this month’s challenge is The Scientific Method. We want you to form a SciArt collaboration, employing a scientist’s understanding of the Scientific Method and an artist’s creativity and intuition for connecting with audiences, to create an engaging and unique piece of science communication. And teach people about how science is done in the process!
If you’re not sure exactly what we mean by The Scientific Method, then take a look at the blog post below for an explainer about the challenge, written in the Scientific Method style:
SciComm Challenge: A SciArt Collaboration
In the style on The Scientific Method!
Pitch an idea, form a 2 person team and create engaging SciArt together under the theme of The Scientific Method, and submit your entry into the challenge for your chance to earn $800 in further SciArt funding. (We will give one funding prize to our favorite entry of the month – but if you inspire us, we might ask you to turn your collaboration into a complementary Lifeology course, or invite you to submit to a partner organization’s micro-grant call with special consideration!)
The main eligibility condition is that your collaboration for your challenge entry must involve payment (any amount that is fair) to the artist on your team for their SciArt work!
If more scientists engage with creative, artistic people, then the communication of science will become more accessible, engaging & enjoyable.
Experiment (The Challenge)
1. Brainstorm ideas for SciArt that you would like to create this month. Your challenge entry can be in any art format – a comic, a feature illustration for a piece of writing, an infographic, an animation, a visual abstract, a physical painting or sculpture, movement-based art – even a Lifeology course!
2a. If you are a scientist, join our Lifeology Slack Workspace and pitch your idea in the #scicomm-challenge-of-the-month channel. Make sure you include your scientific background, SciArt idea & the maximum budget you’re willing to pay an artist in your pitch.
(Refer to the FAQ blog post for more details)
2b. If you are an artist, browse the Slack channel to find a SciArt pitch that interests you. Reply to the thread of someone else’s pitch if you’re considering forming a team and share your creative perspective. You may also pitch your own ideas to the Slack channel as an artist.
3. Agree to collaborate with a scientist/artist and form a provisional team via the Lifeology Slack.
4. As the artist, draft up a work contract to create the SciArt material (with payment amount included), and send it through to the scientist.
5. Scientist signs the SciArt contract if they agree to the work scope & payment amount.
6. SciArt contract is sent via email to Lifeology@lifeomic.com.
7. Artist creates the first draft of SciArt material and sends it to the scientist for feedback.
8. Scientist returns feedback and artist compiles final version of the SciArt material.
9. Scientist send through payment to the artist.
10. Once payment is received, artist submits the SciArt entry via email to Lifeology@lifeomic.com
Congratulations!! You have entered the September SciComm Challenge & are in the running to win $800 of further SciArt funding.
What does a SciArt collaboration look like? The infographic below was developed as an example for this SciComm Challenge. It is a paid collaboration between myself (Jordan) as the scientist & Pooja Gupta as the artist. First, I pitched the idea to Pooja. She was exciting for it, agreed to collaborate, and we wrote up a contract to lock in the work. I then wrote up the structure and content for the infographic, and passed it on for Pooja for design of the style and images. The process took a couple of iterations to finalize, but in the end we were very happy with the result!
Blog Post – The Scientific Method in Science Communication
*Join the Lifeology Slack channel to enter the September SciComm Challenge*
Are you interested in entering our SciComm Challenge & becoming the results of this experiment? We’re calling all scientists & artists to come together and collaborate on SciArt!
Calling any SciArt Star (Artists) – You look to the sky, you see art, you see science, and you dream big. You dream of a planet where science is exceptionally accessible through the creative influence of art. The challenge of reaching this planet starts now!
Calling any SciComm Connoisseurs (Scientists) – You highly value science, The Scientific Method & the role that Science Communication has in the evolution of this process. You value the creative input that art & artists can have in SciComm. You value SciArt, and you’re willing to attest to that by paying an artist for collaborative SciArt work!
To enter the challenge, it’s as easy as pitching an idea on the Slack channel (if you’re a scientist), answering a pitch (if you’re an artist), agree upon a work contract and artist payment amount, and work together to create the SciArt material that you submit for this month’s challenge!
Discussion (& Conditions)
♦ Form a SciArt team of 2 that brings together a scientist & artist (a team of 2 science artists is allowed).
♦ Scientists must enter into a PAID collaboration with an artist to be eligible for the $800 SciArt funding prize*.
*This prize will fund an extension of your SciArt collaboration or a new SciArt project, ideally with the same artist – examples of what these funds can go toward include a Lifeology course, a comic, an infographic, etc.! The funds will be distributed to the artist on your team for creative work under a statement of work and contract created by Lifeology, but Lifeology will not own the resulting artwork/materials – you/your team will.
♦ You may enter the challenge by yourself, but you won’t be eligible to win the $800 SciArt funding prize.
♦ An artist may enter into an unpaid collaboration with a scientist and still be eligible to win the challenge, but we strongly encourage artists to be paid for their work!
♦ Any scientist that pays an artist for SciArt work will have ownership of the material, or have license to use it as set in the contract agreement.
♦ All SciArt collaboration entries are due by Wednesday September 30. Submit your entry by emailing Lifeology@Lifeomic.com with your SciArt entry attached.
Need more information? Read our September SciComm Challenge FAQ!