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Anne Runyon <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 11:39:41 -0400
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This is very interesting- great direction to be going in!
Thanks for keeping us all posted! ... and best wishes with your funding.

My own very small reaction (based on doing NC nature exhibit work)
is that each presentation works best if left somewhat open ...
inviting the veiwer to think and add on to the presentation.
Reminding the audience that the work is not reality - clearly
showing the point of veiw that was used, as well as the image/story.
Teaching the veiwer to be thoughtful and curious,
as well as clearly presenting your information. (But this requires time.
Something that not everyone is willing to give to an experience.)

Best, Annie

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mieke Roth" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:42 AM
Subject: [SCIART] ongoing: my PhD question

> Hi all,
> This morning I had a talk with the professor. As you can imagine we are
> looking for a subject that really interests us both and we know will get
> going for the next few years. We think we are getting somewhere.
> One thing I regularly encounter is the difference between my perspective
> how something should look and how my customers see it. For example: the
> Netherlands are next to the North sea, a shallow sea between the main land
> of Europe and the UK. Because it is a shallow sea I tend to make the water
> the colour that it is, namely a brownish grey. But... my customers do not
> understand this and most of the time we end up with clear blue water. In
> eyes an abomination, but it is what people understand to be water. Another
> example is the discussion I had with Gay Malin on the Ithaca conference
> talked about it with more people, so I think some of you know what I
> She is complaining that within facial reconstruction the fundamentals of
> model used are in fact wrong. At this moment tissue dept is used to
> reconstruct the face. The tissue dept used to model the reconstruction
> depends upon racial, sex and age differences, but the base of the data
> for this is very narrow. Most of the time only 2 or 3 people within a
> specific category, if you are lucky. She would like a whole different
> approach to it: on skulls you are able to determine the place where the
> muscles are attached to the skull. To use these and build the face up from
> the muscles itself, she says, is a much better predictor of the real
> representation than the tissue dept. She even goes so far that she thinks
> even a dimple in one's cheek could be predicted by the shape and size of
> place the muscle attaches to the skull.
> These two examples, one from a simple perspective and the other from a
> perspective that touches the base of a profession, are what we all deal
> on a daily base working with the interpretation of other peoples data. And
> think a very interesting area to do research in!
> The professor and I talked about the perspective of people looking at
> visualisations and the effectiveness of specific kinds of (..models used
> for..) visualisations for different purposes. We also talked about the
> danger of simplifying representations of reality (people might think that
> those ARE reality) too much. Although we don't have a specific question
> the field has been narrowed a whole lot!
> My professor thinks that getting this down to a good PhD question could
> international implications. I also talked about the fact that I don't want
> to do this without funding and he gave me the name of the former president
> of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW in Dutch), the most
> prestigious organisation in our country, comparable to the Nobel
> organisation in Norway. This former president is very much interested in
> combination of art and science and might be willing to help me getting
> and other necessary means to do this research. Another possibility is
> a pharmaceutical company or such to sponsor me, but that would narrow my
> field maybe too much.
> Any case, this field would also mean that I have a subject that I easily
> write/illustrate about for the general public. And that is also what I was
> aiming for!
> I keep you posted ;-)!
> Mieke
> P.S. even the heated discussion about the Nature article helped!