Media Invite & Review: Asian Scientist Magazine x PHD Comics: Where Art & Science Collide!
As a Science educator, I derive meaning and satisfaction in communicating and connecting with children through Science daily.
Not far from my mind are the questions:
- How do I make the learning of Science fun and pleasurable?
- How should I communicate scientific concepts in an immediately accessible way?
- How can interest and humour drive the inquiry of science, such that it doesn’t become stiff and boring but fascinating instead?
It was thus a great pleasure to have been invited by the Asian Scientist Magazine, to attend the Public Masterclass by Dr Jorge Cham, “Where Art & Science Collide! at the Singapore Management University, and have some of these questions answered!
PhD Comics: Piled Higher and Deeper!
The public masterclass centred on Dr Jorge Cham’s journey from renowned academic to comic author of the hugely popular PhD comics. Jorge, who has a PhD in robotics from Stanford University shared with the student fraternity how he broke out of academia into the world of comics, books, online TV and movies.
So what drove him to start a lateral movement from science to art?
Doodling started out as a hobby for him; he started out contributing a comic strip to the Stanford Daily during his undergrad days till it grew in popularity online. Shortly after, he started a website to show the comic strips and it was just a matter of time that students, graduates, undergraduates from various schools and universities with diverse specialisations got wind of the comic strips and it just grew from word of mouth.
Eventually, the subscribers to the website grew large enough for him to be noticed and invited for talks both domestically in USA and internationally. It continued to give him exposure in the form of invitations to draw comics for the Higgs Boson which led him into producing his comics into videos. It was really when the Higgs Boson was confirmed in existence that his video went viral and the rest was history.
The Science “Gap”
Through his years of experience in both the academia and comic world, interviews with scientists, producing comics and videos, Jorge has come to the conclusion that science communication or ‘The Science Gap’ is about the public perception of scientists and researchers and how scientists and researchers communicate understanding to the general public.
Knowing the how to bring science concepts from an academic level down to the level that even a layman can understand is important in order to plug this gap.
It certainly is amazing to hear from Jorge’s journey as a science communicator and how he is able to relate scientific concepts in humourous ways!
Advice for Young People
The advice given above is GOLD and should apply to all young people who are seeking to communicate their passion in life.
As a science educator and father, I know that the five points he mentioned is definitely one that I would like to tell my kids and infuse into their being. What he has gone though is a great model for even our young children as they are growing up in the era where they are going to be doing jobs that have not even been created yet.
The future disruptive economy will have jobs crossing horizontally into new areas and in multi-disciplinary forms which we have not encountered before.
Jorge is a ‘pioneer’ in his own right to inspire future generations along this path!
For more information on Jorge’s latest book: