A friend of Webvision, renaissance man and photographer extraordinaire, Duncan Davidson visited us at the Moran Eye Center and hung out for a day of science while we performed experiments. Duncan documented some of the work we did that day in the lovely video he posted to Vimeo above. You have quite possibly seen Duncan’s work before on CNN or of individuals giving talks at the TED conference as Duncan is the official TED photographer.
Documentarians are some of the most important people in our culture as they record for posterity the who, where, when and how. I’ve written some about this before, but it is worth reiterating that while one never knows what the future holds, its always revealing to look back through history to see where we’ve come from, particularly in science. Again, many images and words at the time may mean relatively little except to those individuals directly involved in the documentation. But it is important to note that they represent a legacy of knowledge, preserving the flow of information and scientific progress through history and interpersonal relationships. It is a bit more work on top of already overburdened schedules, but I’d encourage all of our colleagues in science to put some effort towards documentation of the people and culture associated with our work through words, photographs and video. It helps to communicate who we are, what we do and why our work is valuable to society not to mention where ideas and relationships in science come from.
Our thanks to Duncan for spending his day with us, and we’ll look forward to the next visit.