Samantha Cristoforetti

October 3rd: Roasted

Inked drawing of Samantha Cristoforetti drinking coffee in space

Every Italian knows the importance of well-roasted beans to make the perfect coffee. Samantha Cristoforetti is no different. Except she takes her espresso in space.

She has been often renamed as a woman of records: the first Italian woman in space, the longest uninterrupted flight for a European astronaut, the first to brew an espresso in space! That charming taste of Science!

If you are wondering what’s going on here, look at this post: Inking Science


Neil Armstrong

October 2nd: Tranquil


 B.A. “Contact light.”

N.A. “Shutdown.”

B.A. “Okay. Engine stop”

C.D. “We copy you down, Eagle.”

N.A. “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

C.D. “Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot.”

This is the transcript of Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Charles Duke on July 20th, 1969. Humanity had landed on the moon. It almost feels paradoxical that one of the most exciting events in the history of mankind happened in a place called “Mare Tranquillitatis”. And definitely, Armstrong was not tranquil, with a heart rate in the 100-150 beats per minute range.

Only a few hours after, he would be the first man to walk on the moon. I could not write it in better words than he did:

N.A. “That’s one small step for [a] man; one giant leap for mankind.”

If you are wondering what’s going on here, look at this post: Inking Science

Marie Skłodowska Curie

October 1st: Poisonous

Ink drawing of Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie was a fighter. During the course of her life: she struggled with depression just after high school; attended a clandestine institution for higher education because women were not allowed at regular institutions; she gave up education to sustain her sister studies; once she had enough fundings to move to Paris to study, she would faint from hunger because of the little resources left. All the while keep educating herself. She graduated in Physics, and she continued to get a second degree. Even when her career started blooming with her first studies with Pierre Curie, she was denied a job in Poland when she wanted to go back to her own country. In Paris, she and Pierre discovered and compiled a list of elements that emit radiation, like Polonium and Radium. They coined the word “radioactivity” and she was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel prize. Despite the recognition, she still had to fight xenophoby and accusations while in France.

The Curie’s lab was no more than a shed repurposed for their studies when they started. With no ventilation and no safety equipment. They had no idea of the poisonous effect of radiation. While Pierre died years before on a road accident, Marie died from aplastic anaemia, very likely due to her exposure to radiation.

Marie Curie was a fighter. And an example. A real superhero. She put her education and the pursuit of knowledge above everything else. Every time I feel low, every time I forget why I am doing science at all, every time the failures and the neverending challenges seem unbearable, I think of Madame Curie. I think how much she believed that science can help make a better world. So much that she displaced every odds life put in front of her path. And I draw inspiration to keep going and make it through a poisonous time.

When I decided on the theme for this year Inktober, I had absolutely no doubt that I wanted to start by paying my homage to Marie Curie.

I was awarded a Marie Curie scholarship to do my PhD and I am thankful to scientists that, like she had done, have fought battles to make it easier for people like me to study and build a life in the search of the unknown. I am also a proud vice-chair for the Marie Curie Alumni Association, and I hope I am doing my small share to continue fighting the battles that are left and make it easier for other researchers to follow their dreams.

If you are wondering what’s going on here, I have a little explanation on this post!

Inking science

The people that know me in real life, also know that I have many –way too many– hobbies.

This is a big problem because I often get very excited about a new idea, plan every detail, start the project, only to dreadfully remain stranded half way when a new idea from a different hobby of mine comes around. And the cycle repeats.

One of those hobbies is drawing. When for the first time, I stuck to something from start to end, it was thanks to a drawing challenge: Inktober. During Inktober, artists make a drawing in ink every day in October and share it with the world.

For those of you who could not be giving a fork about my drawings, bear with me. I do have some science to talk about too. For this year Inktober, I decided that every day I will be inking the drawing of a real scientist I admire.

In the coming days, you can expect some hopefully-decent drawings in ink of scientists and why I picked them. Not enough of a challenge you say?

Look at this:

Inktober 2018 prompt list

This is the official Inktober prompt list. Every drawing can take inspiration from the word assigned to that day. I decided to pick the scientists based on this prompt list. Now you also know something else about me: I must hate myself to some degree. You try associating “drooling” to a scientist and not have a headache by the end of the day!

See ya tomorrow, for the first word of this crazy challenge: “Poisonous”.

You can check my drawings from Inktober 2017 on my Instagram (need some scrolling down to October 2017), buy some merch on Redbubble and some original prints on Etsy (50% discount with coupon WORDPRESS18 during October).

Be warned: there is no science involved but only rad sci-fi birds and badass steampunk cats. Yes, I am doing some shameless promotion. But I am really proud of this work! Let me have this win.