Introducing Dormancy

Scienceline welcomes you to a new, creative project

Introducing Dormancy
This image was taken in August 2015 from a Brooklyn rooftop. For the most part, a sun-powered circadian clock guides human, plant and animal activity. But as you’ll soon find out, “Dormancy,” is more complicated than a setting sun. [Image Credit: JoAnna Klein]

View the project here.

To an arctic ground squirrel, dormancy means waking up exhausted after trying to survive nine months of hibernation. To the Muthurus tribes in India, it’s telling time by a flower that blossoms every twelve years. And to a robot, dormancy means powering down and saving energy to survive a Martian winter.

The term “dormancy” stems from the French word “dormir” or “to sleep.” But it represents so much more. Merriam-Webster defines dormant as “not doing anything at this time: not active, but able to become active.” It’s life without really living. It’s death without really dying. To be dormant, is to be suspended. Dormancy is a rest, a pause, a break.

This summer, Scienceline took an in-depth look at what it means to be dormant. Our project, “Dormancy,” carries the audience on a creative journey through the peculiar, quirky and sometimes harsh world of objects caught in a state of suspended animation. In a four-chapter series (which began Oct. 7), we urge you to actively engage in the contradictory nature of dormancy and to consider it as a concept of time. Dress casual, and plan to stay a whole month. We recommend pajamas.

To join the conversation about #sldormancy, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Scienceline. We’re releasing the fourth chapter today (Oct. 28).

As Special Projects Director at Scienceline, I conceived this project last year to create a space where we could experiment with unconventional methods of collaborative science storytelling. A scientist by training, I know big ideas need big experiments and — perhaps more importantly — I know that learning comes through discovery.

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