This semester, we are excited to offer the Embryo Project Encyclopedia Illustration Course. The course is constructed to support the efforts of the Embryo Project (EP) and its Embryo Project Encyclopedia, a digital, open source encyclopedia that explores historical, philosophical, ethical, legal, and scientific subjects surrounding embryology, reproduction, and human development. The EP recognizes that science and everyday life are more intertwined than ever, so to promote science literacy among Americans, the Embryo Project Encyclopedia publishes articles that are factually accurate, unbiased, and free of complicated jargon. Artists have joined the effort as well, designing scientific images to make EP articles more engaging and accessible. Previously, the EP had hosted illustration internships for college students across the United States. The EP is now excited to embrace the talented scientists-slash-artists right here at Arizona State University.
The EP illustration course is rigorous and rewarding. In one semester, students create five original images to supplement EP articles; the topics range from meiosis to CRISPR to Agent Orange birth defects. Students must combine their illustration savvy with their passion for science to communicate complicated scientific concepts and social problems for the EP’s inclusive audience. Students work to create images that are accurate, clear, and compelling. Those images will be peer reviewed and published on the EP website. At the same time, students develop and refine skills required to be successful professional scientific illustrators. By the end of the course, students will have a complete toolkit to facilitate future client meetings, as well as materials like a personal portfolio, website, and business cards. In the past, students who have completed the EP illustration internship have received funding from the National Science Foundation for scientific art projects, gone on to competitive graduate programs in medical illustration, and worked professionally in the scientific illustration field.
The Embryo Project Encyclopedia attracts greater than 100,000 readers every month. Through its mission, it contributes to increasing scientific literacy among Americans by educating its audience on developmental biology and reproductive health using a historical narrative and linking to open access resources. Over the years, EP leaders have developed a sound workflow to ensure quality of publications, as well as top-notch science writing and editing education. The EP sources its content from the EP Writing Seminar, co-instructed by Alexis Abboud, Carolina Abboud, and project's PI Jane Maienschein. Next, the articles are submitted to the EP editing team, led by Federica Turriziani Colonna who also teaches the EP Editing Seminar, in which students learn how to edit articles for facts and style. A new addition to the EP educational and outreach portfolio, the EP Illustration Seminar taught by Anna Guerrero promises to deliver engaging, informative scientific images to help readers navigate and digest science.
For further information, contact Federica Turriziani Colonna (Federica.Turrizianicolonna@asu.edu).