Symphony of Science inspires both scientists and laymen

If you haven’t discovered Symphony of Science before you have surely some great YouTube moments before you. This science, music and video project by John Boswell, an electronic musician from Washington, is a stunning source of inspiration for scientists and laymen alike.

The greek word symphonos means harmonious (from syn– ’together’+ phone ’voice, sound’). And harmonious is certainly a word that comes to mind when you see John’s mixes with titles as Secret of the Stars, where a speaker from the fifties introduces us to ”relativity – that strange, fantastic relationship between time, distance and math”, or We are all connected, where physicist Richard Feynman claims that ”nature’s imagination is so much greater than man’s”.

This is very useful stuff for anyone wanting to create a good introduction for a popular science project, like a Open House at the lab or a Science Day for highschool students. If you start by showing one of this videos I guarantee that you will have the audience in your hand!

Hi, John! By what criteria do you choose the scientific subjects of the videos?
I choose the subjects for each SoS video basically on a whim – watching a documentary or reading an article will inspire me to explore the possibility.  Only sometimes does experimentation lead to a full fledged video, when inspiration and good source material combine to create something really worth sharing.

Which subjects are next?
Math and Cells are two subjects I’m working on right now.  I can’t say which will be next and when but they are both good subjects for the series.  Other subjects I’d like to tackle at some point are oceans, time, and geology, among others.

Do you cooperate with scientists during the very production?
I do not collaborate with the scientists during production – my process is very experimental and I never know what I will end up using in the final product, so it would be hard to coordinate things beforehand.

Have your productions been used at scientific events?
My videos have been used at various conferences and events, and in 2012 I was invited to TED to do a mashup of the week’s events.

As an audio and video pro, which advice would you give to a early career scientist who wants to do some kind of video production, using simple hardware and software?
Focus on the synergy between visuals and audio; every spoken sentence or segment of a song has a feel to it that must be paired with similarly feeling visuals.

2 replies
  1. Norbert Majubu
    Norbert Majubu says:

    Great videos, great ideas! I listen to your songs everytime before starting to study or work on science/engineering stuff.

    Looking forward to the song about math!


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  1. […] claim that ”Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded [—] we are made of stardust!” (taken from one of my favourite Symphony of Science videos)  will hook any listener. This is […]

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