18 DEC 2018

ERCcOMICS, a project sponsored by Sorbonne University, is launching its third season with four new animated projects inspired by ERC* projects. Illustrators work hand-in-hand with researchers to tell the story of their research in pictures.

In partnership with the communication agency La Bande Destinée, the ERC projects are illustrated in different styles, highlighting the scientific issues and the work of researchers.

Every week on the ERCcOMICS website, a new episode of the four new projects will be unveiled.

hatha yoga
Roots of Hatha Yoga © The Destiny Band

The Haṭha Yoga project is a five-year research project based at SOAS - University of London, with the goal of tracing the history of physical yoga practice through philology and ethnography. The research must relying on resources that are disappearing: crumbling manuscripts of Sanskrit texts on yoga and traditional Indian ascetic yogis whose practices have begun to change under the influence of modern globalized yoga.

In The Roots of Hatha Yoga, the reader follows Dr. James Mallinson's journey from London to India at the age of 17 to discover the ascetics’ way of life. Returning to England, Mallinson began Sanskrit studies at Oxford University and returned regularly to India to live with Sadhus Indians of the Yogi Tyagis sect. For more than twenty years, Mallinson has been deepening his study of yoga and yogis and is today recognized as one of the top specialists in the history of hatha yoga.

Roots of Ayurveda © The Destiny Band

The goal of the Ayuryog project, led by the indologist Dagmar Wujastyk (University of Vienna), is to show how these ancestral traditions of yoga, ayurveda and rasaśāstra have become today a component of the global health and personal development industries.

Through The Roots of Ayurveda, the reader discovers Dr. Wujastyk’s journey from Vienna to India, to meet a family of practitioners of Ayurveda. Accompanied in her journey by two wise centenarians, she will explore the basics of Ayurvedic medicinal practices and will be confronted with the socio-cultural transformations in Indian society that occur from the confrontation of tradition and modernity. 

The exploit
The Exploit © The Destiny Band

Smartphones, commercial drones, home security systems: the number of devices connected to the Internet continues to grow. But all these devices can be manipulated and personal data compromised. Through the Bastion project, the team led by Thorsten Holz (Ruhr-University) is seeking to improve IT security by studying the vulnerabilities of the Internet of Things and creating ways to guard against them.

In The Exploit, the readers travel to 2032. They meet the Cynical Cyclops Club composed of Lane and Charlie who go from the piracy of scientific competitions to that of school exams from all over the country.

You robot
You, Robot © The Destiny Band

Understanding how we perceive and interact with others is a major challenge of social cognition research. This challenge is bound to intensify with the development of artificial intelligence and the presence of humanoid robots in society. By innovatively combining psychology, neuroscience and robotics, the Social Robots project led by Emily Cross, constructs a new approach to understanding how the human brain interacts with robots.

In You, Robot, Emmanuel Espinasse and Emily Cross imagine what our society would look like with the arrival of social robots in our daily lives. Through the experiences of Lucy, Anastasius, Nadir and Pavel, the reader sees how these artificial companions influence our interaction with other human beings and change the way we construct our identities.

science talk
In science we talk © The Destiny Band

Because creativity, freedom, and passion are among the many values that the ERC project holders share, this year, ERCcOMICS chose to devote an integral webcomics to them. Through In Science We Talk, the artist Massimo Colella illustrates the 10 key values of research in the form of dialogues that are reminiscent of the universe of La Fontaine's Fables.

For more information: The project ERCcOMICS will participate from November 23 to 25 at the festival BilBOlBul in Bologna (Italy) and the international festival of comics that will take place from January 24 to 27, 2019 in Angoulême.