Communicating and outreaching palaeosciences through visual arts: lessons from different realms.
Art and Science are the two sides of the same coin, these are two ways to understand and describe the world around us and are often narrowly interconnected. In our fast changing planet, society demands sound science communication as scientific concepts need to be informed to the general public in the most objective, evidence-based way possible. Outreach is indeed becoming, and should be even more relevant in the future, a cornerstone of our duties as academics. A paradigmatic case is that of palaeosciences where sometimes even basic principles are difficult to communicate. While palaeosciences are essential to understand current Global Change, transmitting their findings and the scope of its evidences becomes challenging.
On a different realm of human cognition, frequently taken far from science, we find art. Art has the power of reconciling us with our reality, reawakening the essence of the easily forgotten value of our own lives by making ordinary occasions or items enticing. Art has been used in scientific illustrations since nearly the Middle Ages, and aside of the aesthetic value of it, there is an undeniable value on its communicating power.
In that regard, the presenting team is accruing an increasing expertise in communicating science to different audiences and through different media, and in this talk we will review different communication experiences where palaeosciences and art overlapped. We will assess the efficiency of each approach considering the objectives initially posed and the results obtained, as well as how we eventually tailor our communication projects to make palaeoscience a widely understood science. In addition, we will also explain our creative workflow in each action and the importance of using a cross-disciplinary approach in all our projects. Last, we aim to create awareness in the palaeoscientific community on the central role that visual arts have when communicating science.