Recently, The Sartorialist street fashion blog introduced a new feature called “If you are thinking about…”, a collage of different takes on a certain item. And I thought this would make a great line to start a blog post (well, I got so enthusiastic that I could end it here, but I was afraid that might be viewed as a little unprofessional 🙂 )
And to match it, I chose the promotional TEDxBucharest 2012 video, that asked “”What kind of line would your life draw?” (http://vimeo.com/51847228).
What is the connection between the two? Well, for some time now, I’ve been meaning to write a post about science writing, creativity and inspiring research, and I think dots and lines are a proper way to start (one can’t get more basic than that, right?).
So, I’ll just talk a little about a 2007 Anthropology book, written by Tim Ingold: “Lines. A brief history”. “What do walking, weaving, observing, singing, storytelling, drawing and writing have in common? The answer is that they all proceed along lines of one way or another”. And this is just a small sample of what this book is about. The reason I chose it in connection to science writing, TED and The Sartorialist is: doing/writing science is all about an option, the choice of a certain world-view (of bringing into view certain aspects of things). Talking about these things is done according to a certain methodology. Thus, in the end, it boils down to what elements one chooses to connect and how. If we imagine that science texts are like the TEDx lines, what type of lines would you choose to draw, what shape, consistency, colour, direction? would they stir an emotion? would they be straight? are they serious? are they sinuous and undecisive? (so many styles and contents out there…). Therefore, I think Tim Ingold’s book is great because of 2 reasons:
– he reorders old topics along new lines of thought- trying to do an archaeology of lines, of discovering them in places and topics nobody thought of before
– and he draws great connections between disparate elements. So, it makes your mind discover connections that were not apparent, reorder the world and make you open to look for new relationships, networks, patterns.
And I think this what I am thinking of when I am thinking about science writing.