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The powers of nanoscience in a comic

23/01/2018

The CIC nanoGUNE and Donostia International Physics Centre (DIPC), specialising in nanoscience and materials science, have released their comic book designed to spread the word about their field, entitled “Nanokomik #2”, today at Komikigunea in San Sebastián. Those present at the debut included the directors of the centres that organised nanoKOMIK, Ricardo Díez Muiño (DIPC) and Txema Pitarke (CIC nanoGUNE), as well as cartoonists Jöse Sénder and Rubén Molina, two of the winners of the 2017 challenge. This book took shape as a result of the second edition of the nanoKOMIK project, co-funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) - Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

After the success reaped in 2016, the second edition of the nanoKOMIK challenge was launched at the beginning of 2017. This second edition involved more than 240 participants over 14 years of age who partook in a free creative process. Through the challenge, participants brought their own comic superheroines or superheroes to life, endowing them with nanopowers thanks to the surprising properties that matter acquires through nanotechnology. A series of comic and science workshops were held both in schools of the Basque Country and in Barcelona, thanks to the collaboration of the University of Barcelona. Within this context, workshops were offered at CosmoCaixa and in some public libraries of Barcelona, as well as a travelling exhibition about the first Dayanne and Murillo edition. The Power of Nanoscience toured exhibition halls and passed through workshops and science festivals in the Basque Country and in Catalonia. Finally, 70 pieces of artistic work took part in the challenge in Basque, Spanish and English.

Using the best ideas from the comics submitted for the challenge as a point of reference, and in collaboration with the winners of the adult category, the new comics began to take shape: World Domi(nano)tion, Mister Flames and Among Plants. These fun stories feature the adventures of an ingenious neuro-nano-scientist who grants the power of ubiquity to a corrupt politician, those of a lover of space travel that saves a mission about to explode and those of a scientist immersed in the creation of a nanohybrid capable of reproducing the photosynthetic process of plants artificially.

The stories of these educational comics include the most original ideas submitted to the challenge. Cartoonists Aśka, Rubén Molina and Jöse Sénder participated in the recreation, as well as the project coordinators Amaia Arregi (DIPC) and Itziar Otegui (nanoGUNE). The complete work is available under a Creative Commons licence in Basque, Spanish, French and English –both in its paper and digital versions– via the website www.nanokomik.com.

Exhibition at Komikigunea

The nanoKOMIK exhibition, which includes the stories from the 2016 and 2017 editions, may be visited until February 9 at Komikigunea (Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, c/ Reyes Católicos 16) in San Sebastián, Monday to Friday from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Komikigunea has collaborated on both of the project's editions, contributing especially with judges for the challenge. 

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