Solid Rock by Andrew Jones and Ethan Parrish

Screenshot from video

COURSE: Independent

MEDIUM: Video/Film

Our submission is a music video we created as teaching assistants as an example term project for our students. The song is an original composition written to address the prompt “What is the interconnection between artistic expression and science?” This was one option in a series of questions posed for the final in Geoscience 100 after courses abruptly went online in spring 2020. It also features a conversation about the value of connecting art and science, a theme of the course.

We are PhD students in geology who love diving into Earth’s nitty gritty details. Although staring at rocks may seem a touch dry to the average person, we argue that our interest is more than academic: central to our geologic curiosity is a profound sense of awe for the wondrous inner workings of our planet. Like a great piece of art, the complexity and vastness of the Earth system captivate us. As scientists and educators, however, we too often watch science get communicated as only facts, without honoring the feelings that motivate research in the first place. Our video seeks to bridge that gap by using music and film to illustrate what drives us as scientists. In our role as teaching assistants for Geoscience 100, we addressed the prompt “What is the interconnection between artistic expression and science?” as an example term project for our students. Although the song uses a geologic metaphor, art doesn’t have to literally be about geology to make this connection. Rather, art is a medium to put us in touch with awe, to inspire us, and to challenge the idea that only “science people” can be scientists. In our research, we use the rock record to study past climates that provide critical insight into Earth’s future climate, and art reminds us why that future is so important. Our long term goal is to help students connect their own passions to science, ultimately inviting in those who might not otherwise pursue geoscience and diversifying our field.