Yes, Science Needs Poetry #sciku #haiku #CreativeEd #poetry

I ran across this delightful piece of advice: “The next time you want to explain something complicated, write a haiku instead.”

Beach in FijiIf you know a student who likes science but grumbles at English, show them this:

Carbon increases
Air warms through century past
More heavy rains fall.

Reducing a concept to its basics presents a wonderful puzzle. That next assignment to write a poem will be fun. You don’t have to limit yourself to haiku, but it does boil things down.

Which leads me to a LOL from a proponent of the idea of science with art. Is this a typically dense presentation or what:

Current interdisciplinary dialogue generally perpetuates the ideology that scientists do science and artists do art. However, research and experience shows that scientists—and society more broadly—benefit from scientists creating works beyond their discipline (Swanson et al. 2008, Opermanis et al. 2015). Broadly, creativity is defined as the production of original and useful ideas (for a broader discussion of creativity, see Stein 1953, Barron 1955, Runco and Jaeger 2012), and a variety of creative approaches, primarily from the arts, are increasingly appreciated in science education, communication, and practice (Jacobson et al. 2007, Swanson et al. 2008, Opermanis et al. 2015). For example, in Latvia, the Nature Concerthall brought science and arts (poetry, music, dance, photography, and videography) together as part of an information campaign to enhance public knowledge and awareness of nature conservation issues and resulted in both greater attendance and perceived greater knowledge of biodiversity issues by attendees (Opermanis et al. 2015). At the same time, the integration of creative practice in professional development opportunities for scientists is increasing; the last several years have seen multiple speakers at ecology and environmental conservation conferences (e.g., Society for Freshwater Science 2018, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 2018, Resilience 2017) using different creative practices to highlight the role and value to ecology and environmental conservation of these practices. At the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 2018, in Montréal, Canada, Linwood Pendleton’s plenary, “Rethinking marine conservation science in three acts,” brought together poems, music, video, and dance to demonstrate how creative approaches can help to achieve and celebrate breakthroughs in marine conservation science (Pendleton 2018). Research focused on innovation in science also demonstrates that creativity is something we can practice and improve and that proficiency in a fine art, craft, or literary pursuit is a significant predictor of scientific productivity and innovation (Root-Bernstein 2003). Poetry, the focus of our article, is one creative practice that conservation scientists can use to enhance their capacity to innovate, to communicate their work in compelling ways, and to enhance their own learning, as well as that of others. Bioscience Vol 68 Issue 11

Yes, that wall of words is all one paragraph in the original.

What’s your favorite topic? Put on your creative cap and write poetry. Here’s my offering. A new “sciku” inspired by my very first blog post:

Popping out as steam
Jiggling atoms remove heat
Blow to cool your tea


Australian Competition for the Whole World – Year of the Periodic Table – Vote for Your Favorite Science-Poem #poetrycommunity #chemistry #poem #poetry

Classical Japanese Poet

Poet of a classical Japanese style

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night and feel them. Why do poets not speak of science? paraphrased from Richard Feynman

These poets do! Science isn’t the realm of robots, but of vibrant human beings, and therefore, of poets.

Celebrate The International Year of the Periodic Table with a poem about all 118 chemical elements (entitled ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’). It got an honorable mention from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s (RACI’s) Stories from the Periodic Table Competition. Today it’s part of an audience poll to determine the people’s favorite elemental story.

Read ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’ by my friend-in-poetry, Michael Leach, and find more science poetry at (The links are in the survey.)

Be sure to vote for your favorite.

Electron shell blocks on Periodic Table

Shape of electron shells as designated on the Periodic Table

Why is the periodic table worth a celebration? Because it’s laid out to show you how atoms are structured, how the shape of electrons’ probabilities lets you predict how chemistry will happen! When I realized this chemistry-stuff wasn’t just rules some grumpy, old teacher insisted I memorize – it was the shape and structure of reality – that’s the moment I groked chemistry. I hope you do, too.

UPDATE: the votes are in and ‘The Chemist’s Couplets’ won first runner-up. View the results with links to the winners here.

Tiny Little Creature is Colossally Tough – a Surprising Survivor #tardigrade #poetry #nature #evolution #science

Tardigrade - worthy of poetry

A humongously enlarged museum model, image by Janine and Jim Eden

What’s the toughest animal,
A lion or a bear?
Or you and me with our dominion
Over others’ prayers?

What tolerates the cosmic rays,
Curled in a dried-out ball,
What can survive a vacuum
Or hottest heat
or coldest cold?

The microscopic tardigrade
Looks like a critter should,
With feet and head and funny face,
It’s kinda cute and good.

In half a billion years evolved
A thousand speciations
To beat the competition
And earn
our exclamations.

Who will be here
to greet the gods
As final days of Earth unfold?
It won’t be me,
it won’t be you.
The tardigrade
will fill that role.

by Kate Rauner

Rhyming poems inspired by scienec - at your favorite online store

2nd edition now available! Expanded!

There are articles every now and then about the tardigrade, a wee beastie worth contemplating.

Join me here for a new science-inspired poem about once a week, or read my collection today on Amazon or your favorite store. All for fun and no existential angst.


Last Day of Ebook Week – Awesome Discounts and Free Books #free #bookday #ebook #giveaway

jupiter-diving-web-ebook-24feb2017-267x400UPDATE: Did you miss this post? No worries – always a free download coupon available here.

Don’t let time zone comfusion defeat you. Get your discounted and free ebooks on Smashwords now, before ebook week ends. Start with my collection of short scifi and fantasy reads at

Prefer novels or poetry? Got you covered! Go to Glory on Mars or Rhyme and Reason Three and use coupon code SFREE to get a free download through March 11. All major digital formats available!

Thanks to the dozens of you who have already downloaded these ebooks 🙂


Emma wants to explore Mars in her robotic walkabout suit, but something’s terribly wrong at this near-future Mars colony.

Poetry inspired by science – astronomy, biology, humanity, environment, and more.