Why genomics?
Hey, artist, why genomics?

I’m an artist for genomics because science and art are complementary partners in understanding the world around us. Scientists and artists are natural allies—conveying the essence of scientific research in their own language. Together, we bridge domains to illuminate hearts and minds.

Drawing and writing about the magnificent genome is my way of catching your eye and sparking curiosity and a desire to know more. I want to nudge you to understand the science of your beautiful genome. Experience the wonder of your inner biology and join the wild ride of science discovery.

It’s transformational. Genomics and AI are transforming the biological science of the twenty-first century. Scientific research is essential to mitigating the planet-wide damage we have wrought—floods, fires, drought. And crucial to protect us from the next pandemic.

Genome engineering. Plant biologists modify cultivated crops with editing tools such as CRISPR to increase diversity, withstand environmental changes, and ensure our food supply. For humans, what began decades ago as obscure basic research laid the foundation to rescue millions of us with vaccines engineered with genomic nucleic acid—messenger RNA (mRNA).

Why care about genomics? Because we’re all Genome Explorers now. We’re the first generation to have access to our DNA—a vanguard of first-time explorers learning about our magnificent genomes together. And genomics is very personal.

Every genome has a story. You and your DNA are protagonists in the unfolding story of your unique biology. Your data integrated into your medical records becomes vital to your health and valuable information you can share to benefit others.

I’m a citizen for genomics because anti-intellectual attitudes and assaults on science are undermining our society. The disturbing behavior of climate deniers and anti-vaxxers makes it more urgent than ever to support science and reason.

Science is under attack. We must support basic and applied research, genome engineering and synthetic biology—innovative drivers of the Genomic Revolution. Now that we have the tools to alter our basic biology, it’s more critical than ever to be science-informed and genome-literate. We need science-savvy citizens to guide ethical and inclusive policies. Future generations are counting on us to get it right.

Finding the wonderment. There’s more to discover than something scary, like a misbehaving APOE gene. Your genome has regions where wonderment can be found, like the dark zones that obscure our code and could have rare, life-saving mutations only you possess.  

Other regions might have variants for synesthesia; it’s a superpower that mixes the senses of sound, taste, and touch—musical tones have color, or words evoke smell—a few examples of wonderment from the science in you.

Hey, artist, why genomics? Exploring the science of the genome and your own DNA is a hero’s journey—an adventure that mesmerizes philosophers, poets, musicians, and visual artists like me. Pictures and a story can capture the wonder, but I want to do more than captivate. I want to propel you to be a genome-smart advocate for science.

The Genomic Revolution will change us; it changed me. I morphed into a genome explorer and fierce advocate for science. I’ve been exploring the science of our magnificent genome with art and story ever since.