Rob Denton

Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

TANK

As if he were making art just for my interests, Nate Milton presents this animated short film, “TANK”. This beauty is well worth nine minutes of your life, especially if you were anything like me growing up: chasing creepy crawly creatures and playing junior naturalist. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that has so accurately tapped into the magical feelings that surround connecting with the natural world as a child, feelings that certainly still resonate with me as an adult.This film was the results of a successful Kickstarter campaign and you can see more behind-the-scenes videos/photos on Mr. Milton’s production […]

Science links: Science Studio educates, entertains, and inspires

Whew, I’ve been away from the blog for a bit while I finished my PhD candidacy. Now that I’ve been deemed a competent scientist by my senior colleagues, I have a backlog of blog posts to get to. I’m going to start by pointing you towards Science Studio, a collection of the best science multimedia on the web. This idea comes from Rose Eveleth and Ben Lillie, who are two people behind the equally excellent podcast Story Collider.  So, why is Science Studio cool? Well, finding really good science media isn’t easy. Unfortunately, the best and most effective science multimedia isn’t […]

Data or Art?

“Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance III” (1952) by Ellsworth Kelly I stumbled upon this really neat post on Jim Davenport‘s blog, If We Assume: Data or Art?Us scientists now have so many tools at our disposal to visualize data in new and interesting ways. While box and whisker plots may never go out of style, check out some of the sites below to find fascinating graphs, plots, charts, and more. From Gong et al. (2011) PNAS Wired magazine: Data as Art: 10 Striking Science MapsThe sub-reddit “Data is Beautiful” This all-time classic talk from Hans Rosling, “Stats that reshape your worldview”Information […]

Beer as a Metaphor for Biodiversity

Check out this great video from MinuteEarth that compares the dynamics of plant communities to the economics of beer. Sounds strange at first, but ends up being a great way to explain the importance of biodiversity to an economics major who is taking there required biology course. Check it out: Make sure to take a look at MinuteEarth’s other videos on youtube and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. 

How do you make science interesting? Make it rhyme and drop a beat.

In general, it is very hard to get people to care about science. I don’t want to force a history major to change his degree to bioengineering. I don’t need a six year old to sign a contract detailing her commitment to being the next Nobel prize winner. I’m talking about just getting someone (anyone!) who isn’t already a scientist to recognize that science exists, science matters, and science can be cool. I watched this incredible video produced by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, and one point in particular stuck with me for the last week. Most of the […]