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Capturing Science Contest 2020

Alan Flurry

UGA Libraries’ competition encourages (and rewards!) creativity to help communicate ideas in any format students might imagine:

When most people think of climate science, their only visual reference is a disaster movie. But Alison Banks knows that things are more complicated. As she modeled scenarios in her work as a master’s student in geography, Banks was inspired to create her own representation of the possibilities.

With an image in her head that draws from Dante’s journey in “Inferno” through the circles of hell, Banks set to work on an art project that combines the positives and the negatives that could occur based on various models developed through her research.

The finished project earned Banks $1,000 and first place in the graduate student category of the Capturing Science Contest, sponsored by the University of Georgia Libraries and Office of Research.

“It’s nice to have a program that prioritizes creativity,” said Banks, who added that it can be hard to find time as a graduate student to work on a project like this, but she is grateful that she was able to combine her passions to tell an important scientific story.

Creativity and clarity are the hallmarks of the Capturing Science Contest, which was created three years to encourage students to put their communication skills to work. Students can submit a project in a variety of formats and genres, and among this year’s entries were music compositions, videos, creative writing, learning activities and more.

The 50 entries encompassed a broad range of fields from chemistry to math, and they ranged from a lesson plan to explain the link between tree rings and archaeology to a spoof of “The Bachelorette” to explain how animals choose a mate.

Great work by these students and the UGA libraries. The benefits of thinking differently about your work, no matter what field or area of endeavor, can allow others to connect more deeply with meaningful concepts and ideas. Kudos to our colleagues for new ways to reward creativity.

Alison Banks won first place in the graduate student category of the Capturing Science Contest. (Photo by Amy Ware)

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