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Leonardo Gallery 235 Scientific Delirium Madness 4.0 Gallery The Alchemy of a Book Ainissa Ramirez Steve Wilson Fellow In July of 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in the Djerassi Residency Artist Program (the Scientific Delirium Madness), where I joined 10 other science-minded and artful souls. I came to this haven of creativity with the intent of making headway on my forthcoming book, which is to be published by MIT Press in 2018. I arrived with a suitcase full of books, inches of archival material and lots of hope. High on this mountaintop, deep in the fog, I sat at an IKEA desk in Middlebrook A, staring out onto the blanket of green, wrangling with my muse. On the cool days, I transformed cups of tea into lots of words. On the hot days, there were fewer words and a few more naps. The nonfiction book I am writing, titled The Alchemy of Us, explores how technology and humans transform one another. My approach to my book is to tell the littleknown stories of inventors and their inventions that made our world modern, and then share how these achievements went on to change society. I spent my time at Djerassi reconstituting characters and their worlds by sifting through little bits of information hidden in my copies of old correspondences, diaries and newspapers. Rehydrating these lives and embedding them into historical accounts is an approach removed from my former academic life. In the past, this book would have been a manuscript full of facts and jargon. My book now uses story. Little did I realize that my book on transformation would contribute to my own alchemy from scientist to science communicator. From this project, along with my exchanges with others on the mountain, I witnessed the power of story. Facts resonate with the few, but stories— stories reach multitudes. (Please note that this statement is an excerpt of a longer piece that can be found online at: .) Ainissa Ramirez Email: Web: Ainissa Ramirez, A View from Middlebrook A, photograph, 2017. (© Ainissa Ramirez) ...


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