Artists and scientists have something of an uneasy alliance. Both pursuits find kinship in being frequently maligned by the public for their high-mindedness, but true bonds are hindered by the openness and aloofness that characterize artists, and the density and seriousness that characterize scientists. To use a completely random an unnecessary analogy, they're like Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour: perceived opposites forced to join up to compete against larger foes.
Anyway, into this fray comes a peacemaker: Rosemary Mosco. Rosemary is an artist and she's also a science communicator, someone who, in her words, works to connect people to science through creative communication projects. Very cool.
Rosemary's comics - which are collected at Bird and Moon - bridge the gap between biology and art with joy. She does for biology what XKCD does for math and Hark! A Vagrant does for history: pull out the humorous voice from a field not known for expressing itself with much gusto. Rosemary agreed to answer a few questions for me about her comics and the gaps between science and art. (By the way, her brand new "Birding Is My Favorite Video Game" piece is my favorite of all things.)
Did your passions for science and art develop at the same time? Did you ever feel that you had to choose between the two?
I think I've always been into both science and art. As a kid I liked to learn science facts and then tell them to people (my parents were really patient!). Drawing was just another way to share these facts, and I could do it in a way that made people laugh at the same time.
As I got older, I definitely felt like I had to choose between science and art. When I was starting college I asked my advisor if I could major in both of them, and he looked at me funny and said "Absolutely not". I've always tried to squeeze space for both of them into my schedule, which can be tough at times, but it's always rewarding.