By Maddie Stone
If you love both science and art, Twitter was a wonderful place to be last week.
#SciArt week, which officially ran from March 1st through the 7th, was initiated by Symbiartic bloggers Glendon Mellow, Kalliopi Monoyios and Katie McKissick, who encouraged science artists of all stripes to rally together and tweet their work to the world. The result was an outpouring of scientific illustrations, paintings, sculptures and animations, the likes of which the internet has never seen.
When I reached out to Mellow for details, he explained that he and his fellow bloggers have been writing about science-inspired art their Scientific American blog for almost four years, and felt a responsibility to share the diverse work of the many science artists they know.
"A couple of years ago, we ramped up our Symbiartic SciArt Twitter List," Mellow said. "I wanted to be able to point to a single, flexible place and say, 'Here are the science artists: look through these people and contact someone to make visuals for your work.'
But it wasn't enough. The Tweet Storm idea came about because I wanted a way to get those 450+ artists right into the feeds of people who love science. My Symbiartic co-bloggers, Katie, Kalliopi and I, formed our plan. We figured volume, retweeting and brief instructions would be key."
Apparently, their intuition was spot on. While the original goal was to get roughly 1,600 tweets a day featuring science-related art of all kinds, within the first 24 hours the Symbiartic post explaining #SciArt week, there were over 4,000. For science nerds like me, it's been one of the most beautiful weeks in social media history.
There's too much good #SciArt out there to do this movement justice in a single post, so instead I'm sharing a few of my favourite pieces of dinosaur art that have appeared on Twitter this past week. Because who doesn't love dinosaurs?
"Dawn Fisher", featuring the South American theropod Unenlagia fishing in the shallows. Copyright Scott Hartman.
A reconstruction of Spinosaurus based on the skeleton at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC. Spinosaurus was reclassified as the first semi-aquatic dinosaur in September 2014. Copyright Megan Ruth.
Compsognathus, a small, predatory dinosaur of the late Jurassic, illustrated with a vivid skin pattern. Copyright Christoph Hoppenbrock.
Achillobacter mating display sculpture (top) and Protoceratops (bottom). The artist created these sculptures by moulding polymer clay facial features to a wire frame. The dinosaur's bodies are made from wool that's needle felted onto the metal skeleton until it becomes firm and contoured. Copyright Matthew Gale.
An illustration of the first recorded Tapejarid from Europe, a family of bizarre and previously exclusively South American pterosaurs. Paleontologists believe it may have been a rare fruit eating dinosaur. Copyright Nobumichi Tamura.
Who's to say dino artists can't have a little fun with their subjects? These three pieces are part of a series of illustrations which depict dinosaurs crushing, maiming and devouring hapless humans, and engaging in all sorts of unusual behaviour. The top two human killers are a T-rex and a Diplodocus, respectively, while the bottom piece is an illustration of Blackgang Chine's nefarious Triassic Club, explained in detail here. Copyright Niroot Puttapipat.
Top Image: Pink Parasaurolophus, pencil and photoshop. Copyright Glendon Mellow.