Matin Durrani - Science Journalist

Furry Logic: a live doodle

Posted by Matin Durrani on 3 November 2016

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I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the launch of the book Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life at the Institute of Physics in London, where my co-author Liz Kalaugher and I spoke about some of the amazing creatures in our book. I talked about how cats drink using surface tension and how mosquitoes exploit Newton's laws to survive collisions with raindrops, while Liz discussed why loggerhead turtles can navgiate using the Earth's magnetic field and explained just why it is that the giant squid has an eye bigger than any other animal in the world.

Little did I know, however, that in in the audience was Jess Wade, a physicist who's senior outreach officer for the Faculty of Natural Sciences & Mathematics at King’s College London. Having recently finished a PhD at Imperial College London on using soluble organic materials to make bendy solar cells and light-emitting diodes, Jess is also a master at creating amazing live doodles of lectures she attends.

Jess was busy listening and drawing at the same time, which sounds to me like a brilliant bit of multi-taksing. And I'm sure you'll agree she's done a great job at turning our words and slides into a fantastic recording of the event. So if you were there, here's your chance to relive our lecture. And if you weren't, well hopefully you've got a sense of what it was all about. You can see a hi-res version here.

Now if you buy a copy of Furry Logic, you'll see some great drawings in there by Aaron Gregory. It did occur to me, though, that Jess could also have done a great job illustrating our book. I'm just wondering, though, if we'd have had to create a personal lecture for each chapter or whether she can draw and read a book at the same time. That would take multi-tasking to a new level.