That’s what motivates Kelly Krause, Creative Director at the international science journal, Nature.
During week 5 of our course, Making Science and Engineering Pictures, we staged a live event on the MIT campus. Felice Frankel arranged to interview Kelly and bring her perspective to our students.
In an online course like ours, where everyone participates independently, on their own time, you look for opportunities to bring everyone together synchronously, to foster a spirit of community. In our initial course plans, we hoped to host one such live, synchronous event per week but quickly realized it would be better to do one, with just the right person, and do it well.
Kelly Krause was a welcome addition to the course content. As Creative Director at Nature, she is intimately involved in the development and selection of graphics for the weekly journal (online and print). Her design background and her comfort with science and engineering uniquely qualify her to shed new light on the questions and challenges our students tackle in MIT 0.111x.
For the event, we set ourselves up in a special studio on campus (Building 9) and worked with the talented folks in the Office of Digital Learning to live-stream the event online. So, in addition to the 60 people in attendance, roughly 800 people tuned into the broadcast from over 30 countries.
It was a terrific event and we all learned so much from Kelly. She explained her career trajectory and gave us insight into the way graphic decisions are made at Nature. We learned that Nature has a Tumblr blog, Nature Graphics, featuring a collection of images from Nature, curated and explained by the art team.
In-person audience members were invited to submit questions on index cards (collected by our course Teaching Assistants) and online audience members submitted questions and comments via Twitter. Our students did not disappoint, with questions like: “My thesis advisor favors graphs, do you have any advice for convincing him of the importance of images?”; “What do you think of the images coming in from of the dwarf planet, Pluto?”; and “What advice do you have for images to represent math or other abstract disciplines that do not have objects to photograph?”
It was an interesting and thought-provoking afternoon. Many thanks to Kelly Krause, to our technical crew from the Office of Digital Learning, and to the people who joined us from all over the world. For those of you unable to attend, the video is archived here.