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The Shape of Life: Animating the Cambrian Explosion

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/04/07/Visualizing_Science When new paleontological studies contradict a $40,000 animation sequence, what's a marine biologist-cum-filmmaker to do? Tierney Thys fills the audience in on the trials and tribulations of animating the Cambrian explosion, then plays a scene from "The Shape of Life." ----- Scientific concepts can be difficult for everyday audiences to understand. And scientists themselves, brilliant as they may be, aren't always the world's best communicators of their own research. That's where art and artists come in. Through engaging exhibits, displays, illustrations, and movies, artists are bringing science to general audiences in elegant, even fun ways that can help the public visualize complex scientific concepts. To better understand how scientists and artists can and do interact and how art can enrich research results by explaining phenomena visually and creatively, swissnex San Francisco hosts a panel discussion with Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, renowned Swiss scientific illustrator; Tierney Thys, marine biologist, science communicator, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer; Charles Sowers, artist and exhibit developer at the Exploratorium; and Erin Biba (moderator), WIRED Magazine correspondent covering science. - Swissnex San Francisco Tierney Thys earned her A.B. in biology from Brown University and her Ph.D. studying fish biomechanics at Duke University. She worked with media group Sea Studios Foundation, in Monterey, California, as a senior research consultant and taught environmental science and policy as an adjunct professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She continues her research on the world's heaviest bony fish, the Mola mola, as part of the Census of Marine Life. She is currently working on developing a large media project on water for PBS with National Geographic Kids, and served as a judge for the 2009 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.
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