Adam and I met several years ago during a series of astronomy lectures at the University of Sydney. I was working on an embroidery based on a NASA image of the far side of the moon. Adam gave me a guided tour of his lab and showed me some of his gorgeous microscope images of cellular structures in rat brains, part of his research, then, on motivation and addiction. Now Culture at Work has given us an opportunity to collaborate on a project that combines Adam's research and marvellous images with my embroidery art.
Jim Endersby, in his book A Guinea Pig's History of Biology (Harvard University Press, 2007) writes:
Science is the kingdom of the blind: there are no sighted – or even one-eyed – people, because we have no way of looking directly at reality to assess what it is like.Science is a series of questions about the state of things; it is mutable and changing. Each new discovery debunks an old one and raises questions about a reality that is still beyond our fingertips, as we grope towards the future. Science is the process of asking questions, in the same way as embroidery is a process: you start with a goal in mind, then inspiration, trial and error, and success or failure take your work in new and unexpected directions. As part of our project, both Adam and I will be sharing the process of our work and, we hope, taking you with us on a journey of learning and creativity.
Welcome to the kingdom of the blind.