The Art of Persuasion
This month’s focus – The Art of Analysis – also highlights the power of ‘self marketing’. What can we learn from the USA and the younger generation?
Rich Whitworth |
"Let’s publish a special midsummer photo-driven issue to celebrate analytical science from a fresh perspective,” we stated boldly many moons ago. Well, here it is – and I think the images on the following pages really speak for themselves. That’s not to say that we didn’t have our doubts at first: are there enough great photographs out there? Will people understand what we are trying to achieve? Can art and science happily coexist?
I hope that you will agree that the answer to those questions is “yes!”
But as you casually flick through the six sections, you may not notice at first that there is a strong bias towards one nation. Photos were chosen purely on merit, but the USA is overrepresented, which begs the question: why?
If I were an alien on my first visit to planet Earth, using Google (in English) as my window into the scientific endeavors of the human race, I may well conclude that the USA is streets ahead of the rest of the world. Is that true? I think that the American attitude towards the importance of sharing ‘positive news’ with the rest of the world has a big impact. ‘Marketing’ is no longer a term that applies only to the promotion of products and services; it is beginning to have an impact on our work and even social lives. To get noticed (or ahead), perhaps we need to more carefully consider ‘self-marketing’ – “the act of demonstrating your talent, qualifications, achievements, and likelihood to succeed,” states 99u.com. Certainly, getting published in the ‘right’ journals raises your profile with peers. But wouldn’t it be great to get recognized by the wider scientific community or even the general public? Should you be doing more to promote the fascinating work that you do?
In our fast-paced digital world, great photos and graphics are competing for our attention all the time. Mediocre is no longer acceptable. Think of the rise of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in combination with 24-hour access to smartphone cameras and clever but simple image-editing software; photos are a fast-rising currency of modern communication. Given the relative novelty of this trend, it may come as no surprise that photos from younger scientists also feature heavily in this issue.
We want the Art of Analysis to be the start of a visual celebration of our field, not the end. You can now share your interesting, beautiful, funny or unique photos via Instagram (@theanalyticalscientist) or Twitter (@tAnaSci) using the tag #artofanalysis.
Oh, and isn’t it time you updated that photo on your biography page? It was taken years ago…