4 May 2020

Introducing #AGURocks & #DrawnToGeoScience

Posted by Shane Hanlon

By Shane M Hanlon

In high school, I was in an emo band. See photos below. That’s all I’m going to say about that. 

Music has been a big part of my life since middle school. I started out as a drummer and then migrated to guitar and bass. In school I was in band and chorus, outside of school was the emo band, and I kept playing music through college. In grad school something shifted (i.e. I was in grad school and didn’t have time for hobbies) and I stopped playing for a while. I thought that post-PhD would be a good time to pick it up again…but I just didn’t. And along the way the songs I was writing as an angsty high school kid about girls and heartache and whatever else, just didn’t apply anymore (if they ever did). Instead, my life became all about science and not much else. But, over the past couple years, balance has re-entered my life. And I’ve been able to see that there’s a place for mixing of creative pursuits and science (e.g. my role as a Senior Producer for the science storytelling organization The Story Collider). This got me thinking – if I can tell stories about science, why not sing songs about science?

I’m not the first person to have this idea, by no means, but I’ve never really seen a place for science musicians to showcase, and more importantly for our purposes, to talk about their processes for writing and recording science songs. Similarly, I was talking to my colleague Olivia, who’s a fantastic drawing artist, and the idea came to showcase those who use drawing to communicate science in the same manner (we have a former colleague who used to do this for us w/ Eos pieces – we’re borrowing the concept). 

So today we’re introducing the #AGURocks and #DrawnToGeoScience campaigns. We want to hear your songs and see your drawings. And we want to learn about the inspiration and processes behind them. We’re hoping to not only showcase your works but also provide some inspiration for aspiring artists and musicians out there. So, shoot us an email following these guidelines:

  • Email subject line: be sure to include #AGURocks or #DrawnToGeoscience. 
  • Your art/music background, or what led you to combine your interests.
  • Inspiration for project/piece/song.
  • Process of creating (or writing/recording) it.
  • The drawing or audio file (you can link out to a cloud drive if it won’t fit as an email attachment. 
  • Lyrics (for music)
  • Please limit posts to 500 words if possible. 

We really look forward to your submissions. Be on the lookout this week for some submissions from AGU staff to start things off!

Shane M Hanlon is Program Manager of AGU’s Sharing Science Program. He also writes nerdy science songs as Darwin & CurieFind him @EcologyOfShane.