Why Meme Society ?

A meme is a unit of cultural information; an idea that transmits between populations – similar to that of genes, which respond to Darwinian-style selective pressures. These ideas run through the mill of changes and gradual mutations created by the influence of language, characters and culture. They ultimately propagate for the benefit of those that use them or they lose their use and become extinct.

I realised while having problems writing my PhD thesis that the world of science is largely documented in written language. Although language is vital for me to build my own knowledge, it isn’t the plane of media that I use to visualise and manipulate in my head, to build new theories, pull out patterns and innovate novel ideas. It has been the discovery of modern art that has shown me that media can be manipulated in such simple yet effective ways to help communicate memes and question/understand the world and its science.

This blog aims to capture and example some of the exciting art methods, medias, innovations, memes and twists in science communication that do not use the written word. The blog will document their importance in helping us to find the tools to translate our lives and the world around us. I’m hoping to tap into the society of like-minded meme makers.

About the author: Dr Ryan C Pink

Ryan Pink presently works at Oxford Brookes University in the field of the molecular biology of human disease. This follows Post Doc work at Cranfield University on novel genetic biosensors for early cancer detection. Here Ryan became interested in digital technologies and disease. He has found creative, interactive technological and artistic methods an ideal solution to overcome personal issues with English language, and uses these to help the public understand heath and disease without the written word.

In his spare time Ryan has run over 100 events for over 10,000 people for cultural development of science, arts and music. This has earned him a BBC MK Hero award, Whitbread Young Achiever award by British Youth Council for “exceptional contribution made to community life and wider society” and was made an honourary fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Some recent science arts projects have included working with Damian Hirst’s company director on the opening of a London arts show, health-care design projects, genetic visual communication models, using artistic performance to communicate disease, using dance to investigate movement science in neurological patients and an Arts Council commission for sensory manipulation in public spaces.