So much about palaeontology can be awe-inspiring. From the spectacular views of the places where we find fossils, to contemplating the life of a long-lost creature, to seeing a bizarre skeleton mounted in a museum, fossils have the power to move scientists and non-scientists to a sense of wonder.
Since palaeontologists have existed, there have also been palaeopoems! Scientists so moved by the natural wonders they study that they’ve written poetry about it. Many of these poems have been obscured by history, and they’ve never been collected in one place (until now!). By searching books, letters, archives, and other unexpected sources, Palaeopoems spanning over 100 years of palaeontological history have been compiled here for the first time, along with the stories of how they came to be.
Original artwork by volunteers accompanies each poem, to help bring them to life. Each guest artist creates a piece inspired by a poem, to further drive home the point that science and art are linked.
The source of each poem we feature is included in the blog post. To cite PalaeoPoems.com as an archive or project, for now you can use:
Christison, Brigid, Michael G. W. Thompson, & Katrin Emery. Why Study PalaeoPoems? Poster presented at ComSciCon; 2020 July 25-27 2020 Ottawa, ON.
The research and work that goes in to Palaeopoems takes place on the traditional and unceded territories of the Algonquin Anishinabeg People. We at Palaeopoems recognize that we are guests on this land. This acknowledgement was made possible through the work of Native-Land.ca and Canadian Association of University Teachers.
Brigid Christison B.Sc. (she/her)– poem-finding and biographies
Katrin Emery (she/her) – logo, portrait illustration, graphic design
Mike Thompson M.Sc. (he/him)– natural history writing
Christina Muxlow (she/her) – website design