Art is an important medium for both creativity and communication. At first it may seem that these are ‘soft’ skills, separate from the ‘hard’ skills of science. They are not. Today, infographics and animations combine art and science; historical works, such as old field guides, full of hand-painted portraits, have tied the two disciplines together.
In this cover piece, I wanted to convey emotions of connectivity. Only together can we spark a flame in science; science needs diverse peoples to come together. The periodic table represents science, and the silhouette of Minnesota (symbolized by MN) is tied in via its connection in name to the element manganese (also symbolized by Mn).
I hope that as you look at the puzzle pieces within yourself, you can see where you connect to others, and how you are part of sparking a flame in this world.
Jonathan “Captain” Smith
I first started beatboxing when I was about 12 years old, and it quickly became my favorite pastime. I’ve always appreciated the importance beatboxing has had in my life, both as an act of spontaneous creation and as a chance for connection with others.
I was excited for this edition of SPARK, not only as a beatboxer, but also as a scientist with an interest in science communication. The snapping fingers and the periodic table, immediately reminded me of the spontaneity of beatboxing. After freestyling with a focus on sounds that felt reminiscent of sparks, I got to recording a few different short segments and took off from there.
If you liked what you heard, feel free to check out my YouTube channel that I run with my two very good friends who are fantastic beatboxers, in their own right. If you’re more familiar with the world of beatboxing, then give our podcast, “The Boots, the Cats, and the Ugly” a listen on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.