Hello! My name is Michael, and I created and run Biocanvas.
I graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in cellular biology and a certificate in writing with a focus on scientific communication. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in stem cell biology at the New York University School of Medicine.
I created Biocanvas in March 2011 as part of a project for a course entitled Writing for the World Wide Web. My goal was to design an online platform to generate interest in science for lay audiences. Now more than ever, we are at a time when science is integral and vital to our lives and future. We need to ensure citizens are informed and engaged in the science that will ultimately transform their lives in very profound ways. After all, we as a society elect those who green-light funding for science; comprise the future workforce of science movers and shakers; and voice our opinions about the paths scientific research should take.
My inspiration for a “science as art” website came from when I worked in Paris, France at a laboratory near the Institut Pasteur. Surrounding the institute was a tall wrought iron fence, and ornamenting the fence were beautiful, high-magnification pictures of bacteria, viruses, cells, and the like. But the most astounding thing to me was watching random civilians pause, view, and consider the images at surprising length. Why not reach a wider audience by applying this concept online?
What started as a simple project has now exploded into a digital curation of high aesthetics. Comments on pictures qualitatively prove just how powerful a single science as art piece can be: You have been inspired to read science textbooks, enroll in science-related degrees, and even apply to graduate school. All from viewing a single image online.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Biocanvas and give your tacit support. I thoroughly enjoy collecting and showcasing these pieces of work by scientists. Although lofty, it is my goal to get everyone interested in science to some degree, and Biocanvas seems to be a promising start.