Professor Lydia Bourouiba, faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, collaborates with Argha Manna, a cancer researcher turned comics artist from Kolkata, India. They continue their previous work translating the complex science of fluid dynamics of disease transmission into comics. Their joint project, Be Aware of Droplets and Bubbles, was published in Annals of Internal Medicine and featured in JAMA Networks’ “Graphic Medicine—The Best of 2020.” As an extension of their ongoing collaboration, A Paradigm Shift in Infectious Diseases aims to clarify confusion about the mechanisms of transmission of airborne pathogens, and more broadly, the importance of crossing boundaries between fundamental physical processes, biology, and physiology, and how the scientific method coupled with advancement of scientific instrumentation has shaped paradigm shifts in science. They leverage visual storytelling using comics to communicate these entangled concepts vital to the public understanding of the advancement of the frontier of human knowledge.
As a collaborative artist of the coFUTURE project, led by DR. Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, I will explore the possible visual representations of “co-evolution”, mostly based on ANT NETWORK THEORY (Chattopadhyay & Bowker, Nature Culture, 2019).
This project explores plant and animal fossils as objects of scientific investigation and historical imagination in twentieth-century India. I will be working on this project as a Research Assistant of Dr. Amelia Bonea (PI of the project), from Hiedelberg Center for Transcultural Studies, University of Heidelberg.
Drawing History of Famine:
Collaborating with the University of Exeter in their ‘Famine and Dearth in India and Britain project as a researcher and contributing artist. The project is funded by the British Library and AHRC, UK. My role is to develop a graphic story on the environmental and medical conditions around the Famine from 1770. Check out the project website-visit here.
The project has a dedicated YouTube channel. To get to know about the processes, interviews and background stories click here.
Final outcome of the project. click here
Climate crisis is the biggest challenge of this era and sustainable development is the biggest need. How do we ensure we all live a happy and healthy life while reducing our carbon footprint? Here is a web-comics series discussing the matter (project supported by CSIR-CCMB). To know about the project in detail, click here. To download the comics series, visit here. To read the media coverage on the series click here.
Indian Women in Science:
A collaborative project with the Sci-Illustrate group from Munich, Germany. In collaboration with the group, we shall tell the stories of Indian Women Scientists with illustrations and short write-ups. To know about their stories and future posts visit here
My artwork has been featured in the “Celebrating Indian Women in Science, An incredible journey” exhibition organized by DBT, India, and India International Center, New Delhi.
History Of Cell Biology:
In the last two years, I have been writing a serial column on “History and Evolution of Cell Biology” for young readers, in vernacular. The columns have been publishing in a Bengali newspaper, dedicated to schoolchildren (Anandabazar Patrika, school edition). The articles are basically monographs, covering from famous cell theory of the mid-19th century to the history of modern cryo-electron microscopy. I am currently translating the monographs from vernacular to English for a wider audience and accumulating the pieces into a picture book about Cell Biology’s history for young readers. This book will provide a systematic history of cell biology from the days of ‘Enlightenment’ in the 17th Century through artworks, visual narratives, and comics.
Articles, published (in Bengali) already, can be seen below (to see enlarged view open image in a new tab following right-click).
Welcome to Hooke’s Lab:
- I am awfully interested in the days of developing science, new philosophies, whilst the Royal Society had been established. I am a keen reader about the days of Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, Newton and others related to INGENUITY in the 17th century. Studying the secondary sources, I have been creating comics including the early days of Royal Society, England; the life and work of Robert Hooke. The comics have been publishing in The Telegraph (school edition), India on a weekly basis as “Scien-Tale with Grandpa’. Now I am writing a book including the comic strips designing a book probably called ‘Welcome to Hooke’s Lab’. Please see the comics section.