Author: Juliana Botelho, Pegasus Scientificus, Brazil

Co-authors: Rosa Pereira, Marco Anacleto, Enaile Siffert

Home of the world’s largest biodiversity, Brazil still has a vast unexplored territory, either for the identification of new species or for descriptive scientific illustration for taxonomy purposes. While the country has been considered a source of scientific investigation since the first scientific and military expeditions in the 19th century, the majority of the newly found species were firstly recorded, historically speaking, by foreign researchers and illustrators.

The Biological Scientific Illustration courses by the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil, aims at filling a professional gap to cover the demands of the fields of Biological Sciences and Science Communications, by training illustrators to act in a variety of biological research fields.

Created in 2005 by Rosa Alves Pereira, illustrator and a former coordinator at the UFMG Illustration Program, the scientific illustration courses are taught today by a selected team of illustrators from the Biological Research Institute. Ever since, Rosa Alves Pereira, Marco Antonio Anacleto, and Enaile Siffert have been offering a number of courses on a series of biological themes, such as entomological
illustration, medical illustration, zoological vertebrate illustration and paleontological illustration. The main goal is to qualify professional illustrators to act on the Biological Sciences, following international scientific illustration standards. The target audience is composed of professionals and students coming from the fields of Arts, Communications, and Biological Sciences. Classes are both theoretical and practical, aiming at the production of illustrations in a variety of research fields. The course pack is provided by the Scientific Illustration Laboratory, which has also been producing the Scientific Illustration Handbooks since 2007.

In 2015, classes started to get documented by Juliana Botelho in a blog called “Ilustração Científica UFMG”, using with a variety of sources of photos, videos and scientific illustrations that describe the illustration techniques, the production process and well as the final outcomes.

Author: Juliana Botelho, Pegasus Scientificus, Brazil

Co-authors: Adlane Vilas-Boas, Jennifer Metcalfe, Alicianne Gonçalves, Hauke Riesch, Jonathan Mendel

Since their first boom about ten years ago, science blogs were believed to offer new possibilities of writing about scientific issues for a lay audience. Seen either as open, democratic forum or a new mode of scientific writing and reading – more fluid, conversational, trustworthy and editorially independent in character – science blogs raised many expectations since their emergence.

Yet, many scholars argue that some of these expectations were rarely, if ever, met. And even if most scholarly reviews account for a diversity of science blogging initiatives, a number of them have come to the conclusion that these platforms have left behind the golden days.

In this panel participants are invited to question the survival of blogs, by bringing forth the following contributions:

  1. “Dialogues with science: what makes a blog last?”, by Juliana Botelho and Adlane Vilas-Boas. This work is an attempt to reflect on the challenges of both science blogging and blog evaluation, by examining a particular case study – a Brazilian blog called “Diálogos c/ Ciência”.
  2. “Climate change on the internet soapbox: Preaching to the converted”, by Jenni Metcalfe. This presentation will compare the comments from two prominent climate blogs in Australia: one from a climate sceptic and one from a supporter of anthropogenic-climate change.
  3. “A political and scientific issue: discourses about racial diversity in science blogs”, by Alicianne Gonçalves. This communication analyses the discourses employed on two Darwinist Brazilian blogs: “Darwin e Deus” and “Haeckeliano”.
  4. “Science communication and the internets: tricksters, trolls and rhizomes”, by Hauke Riesch and Jonathan Mendel. Large-scale online science communication projects often construct very ordered, controlled spaces for discussion. However, we draw on Deleuze and Guattari’s work to argue that this is rather dull compared to the pleasures of more rhizomatic, less centralised approaches to public engagement.