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Janet Wilkins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 08:06:38 -0500
text/plain (212 lines)
To all,

My apologies for not finishing my reply to this thread, my mother had chest pain yesterday and had to be taken to the hospital. It is not a heart attack, however, more tests will be completed today. But, back to this thread...

When I decided to make a “course correction” in my work career, it was to specialize in science illustration. Thus, I returned to college as a “non-traditional age” student. It was in September of 2003 that I transferred to a four-year university noted for its science programs.

Funny thing though, at community college, I had nothing but support for my goals. And yet, at Tufts, I can’t tell you the number of times I heard “Why do you need science courses? Why do you even need a degree?” I felt at times as though all I did was to defend my goals. Silly as this may sound, I just couldn’t help but wonder if my professors had read that first article that appeared in Nature Journal!

Perhaps in my professor's defense, I should explain that just as I transferred to Tufts, I was also diagnosed with breast cancer. I was allowed to attend university on a reduced course load while completing treatment therapy and I am forever indebted to my professors for all of the support I was given through that period of my life. Still, it’s an exhausting process and when you are bombarded with questions about your career goals, well, it can do a number on your determination to achieve those goals!

But, back to the point; while I regret having mentioned the earlier article that appeared in Nature Journal (I had no idea that it had caused as much grief for many of you as it had for me), I was, on the other hand, absolutely thrilled to have finally received a copy of this recent article and to be able to read a piece, however brief it may have been, in support of science illustration. My ego needed this article, what more can I say?

Janet Wilkins

>From: "J. Marie Metz" <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: 2008/08/12 Tue AM 06:57:47 CDT
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [SCIART] conference publicity

>Just a little to add to this as I have been reading most of this thread.  I
>have read the comments with interest and have found enlightenment through
>the many varied opinions, I, like you, see the positive side to this, a
>start in a direction that has possibilities of becoming much more!
>On 8/11/08 10:17 PM, "Lynn Usack" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Thank you Gretchen, I appreciate your clarification.
>> I can see that sentiments are strong, as the profession needs and
>> deserves more respect and recognition. I'll restate that I am grateful
>> for the publicity, especially because it includes the link to the GNSI
>> site, where people can learn much more. It is an opportunity, even if it
>> does not satisfy everyone's ideas on what Nature should have covered. I
>> didn't expect the additional conversation but I can see their points
>> too. I just prefer at this point to see the positive side of this. As
>> for Mieke's comments, yes, I agree, you have more work to do. I'll leave
>> it there, let's move on.
>> Thanks,
>> Lynn 
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: gretchen halpert <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Monday, August 11, 2008 8:03 pm
>> Subject: Re: [SCIART] conference publicity
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Hi all,Well, I really didn't mean to start a discussion with the
>>> notice, but
>>> I'm not surprised. What happened was that the journal/writer saw
>>> our website
>>> on the conference and wanted to write an article about it. It was an
>>> overview highlighting what the journal found interesting, extracted
>>> from a
>>> lot of information I and others gave them. I would have loved to have
>>> written the article myself, with more specifics about the field,
>>> but it
>>> wouldn't have been published. They included the GNSI website, so
>>> hopefullythose interested will look us up and find out about
>>> scientific illustration
>>> in more depth.
>>> I'm happy Nature took an interest and who knows....perhaps it will
>>> lead some
>>> scientists to the GNSI website and to and someone
>>> will get
>>> some work.....
>>> Best,
>>> Gretchen
>>> Gretchen Halpert
>>> illustrator, educator
>>> gretchen.halpert(at)
>>> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 1:09 PM, Mieke Roth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> I have to agree with Frank and I don't think we only should be
>>> grateful> that
>>>> we were named in Nature. What we do is serious business and it is
>>> getting> more and more important to be able to visualize scientific
>>> fact and data.
>>>> I don't know if we should take look at ourselves for the fact
>>> that the
>>>> profession apparently isn't taken that seriously in such a
>>> serious magazine
>>>> or that this journalist just didn't get it, but for me it means
>>> that we
>>>> still have some work to do, pr wise.
>>>> Mieke
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lynn Usack
>>>> Sent: maandag 11 augustus 2008 18:57
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [SCIART] conference publicity
>>>> I guess I'm just happy we were written up in Nature, never
>>> happened before
>>>> right? There's always a next time now that we were noticed. I
>>> understand> Frank's comments, I'm just grateful for the press in
>>> such a prestigious
>>>> journal.
>>>> Lynn
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joan Lee
>>>> Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 11:43 AM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [SCIART] conference publicity
>>>> On Aug 11, 2008, at 11:28 AM, Frank Ippolito wrote:
>>>>>  it is a nice prop in an important publication. though the basic
>>>>> sentiment is about how integral illustration is within the
>>> sciences,> > I do wish that the author hadn't repeated returned
>>> focus on the
>>>>> aspects seen at the meeting that had so little to do with actual
>>>>> science illustration. Terryl Whitlatch's "fantasy creatures...
>>>>> inspired by the anatomy of real animals" is a nice sidebar to our
>>>>> profession. on its own it would have served as such. but the
>>> author> > then quotes Warren Allmon description of "... inspired
>>> guesses, and
>>>>> artistic creativity to form a picture of what animals may have
>>> once> > looked like." all the part's of Warren's talk where he
>>> mentions actual
>>>>> paleontological illustration (and not popularized animal
>>> restorations)> > is left out. he then mentions Jame's Gurney's
>>> Dinotopia talk. this
>>>>> keynote was interesting and entertaining but not about real
>>> science> > illustration. all this in a one page article leaves
>>> little room to
>>>>> mention what science illustration really is and what GNSI
>>> typically> > focuses on during a conference. in Omni magazine this
>>> would have been
>>>>> expected. I guess when I see writings in journals such as
>>> Nature or
>>>>> Science I am expecting an article written for scientists.
>>>>>  -frank
>>>>>> Hey, hey, hey! I got my copy of the Nature article and I
>>> didn't even
>>>>>> need to make the trip to Tufts (not a long drive for distance,
>>> just> >> the so-called "rush hour" traffic that lasts all day).
>>>>>> I've been looking at the link for a time and found that you
>>> didn't> >> need to subscribe, however, the article still costs
>>> $32.00 and it was
>>>>>> just one page! (Gulp!) So, I FINALLY decided to just write to the
>>>>>> library at Tufts yesterday and received a PDF copy this morning.
>>>>>> It was well worth the wait folks!
>>>>>> Janet P. Wilkins
>>>>>>> From: gretchen halpert <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> Date: 2008/07/29 Tue PM 06:51:33 CDT
>>>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>>>> Subject: [SCIART] conference publicity
>>>>>>> Hi all,Here are two links of interest:
>>>>>>> The first is from Jim Gurney's blog, with a very nice report
>>> of the
>>>>>>> conference under July
>>>>>>> 24th:
>>> natural-
>>>>>>> science-illustrators.html
>>>>>>> The second is an article that was in the Journal Nature. Your
>>> best> >>> bet for reading it is from a university library unless
>>> you have a
>>>>>>> subscription. The article came out the week before the
>>> conference> >>> and was posted on the bulletin board at the
>>> registration.>
>>>>>> 454278a.html
>>>>>>> Both good press for the GNSI.
>>>>>>> The Ithaca conference committee rocks!
>>>>>>> Cheers,Gretchen
>>>>>>> Gretchen HalpertGNSI past-president (Gail, I owe you the
>>>>>>> tiara.)Elmira, [log in to unmask]
>>>>> --
>>>>>  Frank Ippolito
>>>>>  Principal Scientific Assistant
>>>>>  Div. Vertebrate Paleontology
>>>>>  American Museum of Natural History
>>>>>  Central Park West at 79th Street
>>>>>  NY    NY    10024
>>>>>  (212) 769-5812
>>>>>  [log in to unmask]