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Stories by Katie McKissick


Self-Publishing Tools for Science Artists

I owe a lot to self-publishing technology. If I had been born before the age of blogs and inexpensive scanners, there is no way anyone outside of my immediate family would have ever seen any of my work.Since the beginning of my online blogging and illustrating, I’ve wanted to take my science storytelling and comics to the next level: physical publishing, sometimes called “books.” It’s pronounced buuuuks.I’ve been sending query letters and manuscripts to publishers for years to no avail...

May 20, 2013 — Katie McKissick

When Should Robots Resemble Humans?

I've been spending a lot of time around robots lately (hey, there's something I never thought I'd say). I got a chance to see and interact with several different kinds of robots recently at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering's Robotics Open House.I saw robots that sort colored objects like the PR2,socially assistive robots that do work with autistic kids like the Nao,and little dino robots that just look cute.I'm particularly interested in robot locomotion...

April 25, 2013 — Katie McKissick
The Sciences

The Pros and Cons of Putting Happy Faces on Molecules

I have a terrible habit of putting faces on just about everything I draw, whether it be atoms, bacteria, or personified evolution. I’ve often wondered if this does a disservice to my science art subjects, but I continue to do it because I feel like a well-placed friendly face can make people so much more comfortable with the subject matter.My target audience is usually science-phobes, people who see words like molecule and run for the hills...

April 10, 2013 — Katie McKissick
The Sciences

Science Art on a T-Shirt

Etsy is a great place to find handmade or vintage items. I'm a regular shopper there, as I love both supporting artists and finding unique gifts. I began searching the massive Etsy community for science-inspired artwork, and I found the most amazingly robust and beautiful science t-shirt shop, nonfiction tees.The shop is run by designer and self-described ninja printmaker Ryan Aydelott, who has worked in computer sciences, graphic design, as well as fine art...

March 25, 2013 — Katie McKissick
Mind & Brain

Your Brain on Cookies

I have decided that one of the ways I will utilize this new blog space is to comic-ify other SciAm posts. This week, I felt inspired by Scicurious's post about food "addictions:" Of course I'm stressed, I'm in cookie withdrawal.To study the withdrawal-like effects of stopping a high fat diet, researchers took two groups of mice -- one that had been on a low fat diet for 6 weeks, and one that had been on a high fat diet for 6 weeks...

February 26, 2013 — Katie McKissick
The Sciences

Beatrice on Board

Well, hello there! Welcome to my first Symbiartic post. My name is Katie, and I write and illustrate a blog called Beatrice the Biologist. The most common question I get is, "Why is it called Beatrice the Biologist if your name is Katie?" A couple reasons:1) Katie the Biologist has no ring to it.2) Beatrice is an awesome name.3) I wanted to write a children's book called Beatrice the Biologist, so when I started a blog, I recycled the name.4) I wanted to create a science communication mascot to represent the idea that we are all scientists.5) Because I love messing with people.  I come from a biology background with a small amount of art training...

February 19, 2013 — Katie McKissick
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