Considering these samples of ‘maths graffiti’ that I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks, I can only assume politics, religion and culture are not the only forces driving today’s graffiti artists to pick up their spray cans.
While these may be fairly basic, and not exactly on par with the mindblowing creations some graffiti artists are capable of, it did get me thinking about the role of graffiti in science communication – surely some good graffiti with a science theme can help to increase the ‘coolness coefficient’ of maths and science?
So how about creating a science graffiti wall at a local University science building? Even an entire building can very effectively be transformed through art and graffiti – just have a look at the campus building of The Learning Connexion (TLC) next time you’re in Lower Hutt, Wellington.
Of course communicating science through novel artistic techniques such as graffiti is not new. As an example, a Norway-based network of scientists and students called Mar-Eco (http://www.mar-eco.no/) have used graffiti as one channel in its quest to popularise international marine research. As part of its public outreach work, a wall of graffiti displaying deep-sea species was created in one of the suburbs of Salvador in Brazil, with the hope of reaching an audience rarely targeted in the communication of science.
If you’ve come across any graffiti with a science or technology focus, please let me know – I’m very keen on expanding my collection of science graffiti images.