24 July 2014

Calling all scientists: Artify your Abstracts!

Posted by Olivia Ambrogio

By Olivia V. Ambrogioartify painted 2

Abstracts are the quintessential means of getting the gist of your research out there to other scientists. But what if you want to reach a broader audience? What if you want to give your abstract that extra oomph that will combine its scientific rigor with some artistic creativity?

Why, in that case you artify your abstract!

We’re calling on you to make an art version of your abstract and submit it to our Tumblr site. (Submission guidelines at the bottom of this post.)

The abstract can be any abstract—from one you’ve just submitted to this year’s Fall Meeting (you did submit, didn’t you?) to one for a paper you published years ago—but it has to be yours.

The art also has to be yours, but any and all kinds of art are welcome. For example: poems, cartoons, paintings, videos, animations, songs, interpretive dance, sock puppets, other puppets, tapestries, sculptures, graffiti, tattoo (for those really committed to their abstracts), crochet, etc.

To inspire you as you imagine what you might create, feast your eyes on the following artified abstracts:

Twin satellites show
mass shifts among ocean gyres
by season, decade.

– Haiku by Gregory Johnson (read the abstract here)


Song by Dargan Frierson (read the abstract here)


Image by Ilissa Ocko. Abstract (in press) can be viewed here: https://blogs.agu.org/sciencecommunication/files/2014/07/Ocko-Abstract.pdf

 Image by Ilissa Ocko (read the abstract here)

Submission guidelines:

1. Go to the “submit” page on AGU’s Tumblr site.

tumblr example

2. From the list of media options, choose the one most appropriate to your submission (video, link, text, photo, etc.).

tumblr instructions

3. NOTE: you must include your name and a link to your original abstract within your submission.

tumblr instructions 2

4. Check the “artify your abstract” tag, and then submit!

We’ll share your art on our other social media sites (and maybe at Fall Meeting as well—stay tuned!).

Need more inspiration? Read Gregory Johnson’s blog post about writing illustrated haikus of the IPCC summary; check out the AGU Student Video Contest submissions; or look into AAAS’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest.

– Olivia Ambrogio is an AGU Strategic Communications Specialist and coordinator of AGU’s Expert Outreach Network