Art your way through evolution!

Join us during this ESEB Congress to move forward the meaning of scientific expression in evolutionary biology! Change your everyday efforts in preparing figures and plots for your papers into a full fledged art. We invite you to visit our little art corner accompanying the ESEB congress, where we will help you to turn your scientific ideas into masterpieces of art. No prior art experience is required! You only have to bring your open mind and eagerness to explore new ways of communicating science. With the help of brushes, crayons, paint and paper we will use colour and shape to turn evolutionary biology into art. For those less inclined to painting and drawing - we will also try our strengths in writing evolutionary haiku, a very short and surprisingly simple form of Japanese poetry (in English or your native language, of course).
Why? We would like you to change your viewpoint for a while and start thinking about your results and your science in a different way. Trying to turn your science into art may well help you find novel directions and new ways of addressing the questions you have. On the other hand, it may give you new and powerful tools to disseminate your science. Remember - you don’t have to be an artist to create!

What exactly is happening? On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the lunch area there will be a corner where you will be able to put your creativity and artistic sense into action. The corner will be open for everyone - even if there’s nobody there feel free to enter and use whatever is available to you there. Basic instructions and inspirational help will be provided in the area.

What happens with my work? We kindly ask you to clearly sing your work (on the other side of the sheet), preferably with your name and e-mail, and leave on the ground or one of the tables. We will collect all works, scan them and assemble into a web gallery. If we have enough inputs - who knows, maybe we try to inspire potential publishers to see your work printed in paper?

What if I’m not a pinter? Don't worry! Painting is not the only why you can use to express yourself. For those who feel less inclined to painting - we prepared a little experiment. Throughout the whole congress we invite you to try your strengths with haiku (俳句) - a type of Japanese poetry, famous for its brevity and simplicity. Why not turn your results, your powerful models, G-matrices, DNA strands and cycling elements into 3 short and simple lines of text? The rules of haiku are simple (followin Wikipedia):

a focus on some aspect of nature or the seasons
division into two asymmetrical sections, usually with a cut at the end of the first or second section, creating a juxtaposition of two subjects (e.g. something large and something small, something natural and something human-made, two unexpectedly similar things, etc.)
a contemplative or wistful tone and an impressionistic brevity
non-rhyming lines

A typical haiku (adapted for English language) consists of 3 lines with 17 syllables, divided into 5-7-5 syllables. Sometimes less syllables can be used (10 or 14) but the middle line is usually the longest.  Some poets want their haiku to be expressed in one breath! There usually little or no punctuation.

How does it work? Just tweet your haiku (in 2 pieces if it exceeds the sign limit) to @Eseb_Haiku Twitter account. Alternatively, if you don’t use Twitter just send it in an e-mail to: and we’ll tweet it for you!

Some great examples:

Snow in my shoe
Sparrow's nest
— Jack Kerouac, collected in Book of Haikus, 2003

an aging willow—
its image unsteady
in the flowing stream
    — Robert Spiess, Red Moon Anthology, Red Moon Press, 1996

Little spider,
will you outlive
— Cor van den Heuvel, Haiku Anthology, 3rd ed. 1999

Anytime during the congress, if you’d like to chat about art and science, how to use art to promote science and evolutionary biology, and other art-related questions that may sit in the heads of evolutionary biologists - contact, the curator of ESEB2017 art events.

Where to find us? Our stand will be clearly visible in the lunch area. We will be there during the lunch breaks.
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