HYDERABAD: What’s an effective way to get people to learn more about the coronavirus? You ask them to sketch out what they think a virus or pathogen looks like, suggests Ishaan Patil. The 21-year-old research intern recently took to Instagram and put out a post asking people to take part in his ‘science visualisation project’, where people could submit a sketch of whatever they think the Covid-19 virus looks like. “It’s a fun way to get people to read more about the virus. Because you need to do some background research before you put pen to paper,” says the intern, who works at Nature Conservation Foundation.
The idea came to him while he was working from home, as a way to beat boredom. “It also combines all the things I like: Drawing and my interest in science,” he says. And in order to get as varied a response as possible, Patil also reached out to people from different backgrounds, from graphic design to economics. “It’s interesting to see how different people visualise something,” he says.
The next step for him is to understand what themes he can draw from the sketches. “I want to see how people perceive a virus. Does their interpretation connotate a negative tone? A positive one? Is it more abstract or concrete for them?” he explains, adding that one’s ideas of a pandemic, or their reactions to it, can make their way into their work too.
Response to the idea has been good too, with about 15 showing an interest in sending their sketches soon. “Based on the number of responses I get, I’m even considering stitching them all together,” he says, adding that the activity has also helped break the monotony of routine work from home has bought.