Science Meets Art

A Word from Communicators

The Importance of Science Communication

Science communication is a deep sea of learning, the more you dive in, the more secrets you will learn and the more treasures you will find. Bringing these treasures to the surface does not always require complex tools or extraordinary skills. You will be surprised if I told you that simple methods will work the best. From storytelling to science writing, the terms and the language you use really make a difference. For me this language was based on art. Art is the only language that needs no translation and if you are creative your art can easily cross all borders. As a creative scientist, I translated my complex research to easily understandable crochet models. This method was attractive to people from all ages all over the world. I take these models to science outreach events, schools, hospitals, craft markets, and crochet workshops. I share my knowledge, exclusive patterns, and initiate discussions with people from different backgrounds.

Finding your own way is what makes your work outstanding. Using simple language and attractive creative tools, providing trust-able scientific resources and correcting fake science information will help in making a big difference in our understanding of how science communication is provided and used in our everyday outreach on social media and in real life; especially in the days of the current pandemic.

Tahani Baakdhah

MD, PhD Retinal Stem Cells Research

CEO of The Purple Lilac Science Crochet

When science and art come together, they make a powerful concoction. Each discipline has its own multiple histories, terminologies, technologies, cultural contexts and rigorous methodologies. Both fields thrive on critical discourse and ongoing challenges to collective knowledge from within. Both artists and scientists must acknowledge and also question the work of those who have come before. Because of this disciplinary expertise, art and science can each seem mystifying and impenetrable to lay persons. 

 

At the same time, however, art and science are both embedded in daily life. If you have ever cooked a meal, taken a photograph, observed an insect, knitted a scarf, washed your hands for 20 seconds, or pondered the moon, you have been engaged with foundational concepts in art and science. Both fields address the material world through observation, experimentation, collaboration and creation. 

 

New channels of communication are opened when artists meaningfully embrace scientific concepts, and when scientists begin to share the powerful aesthetic dimensions of their practice. In these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the urgent need for good scientific communication is felt palpably on a global scale. The powerful threads of interconnection between science, health, the environment and social justice have never been more clear. 

 

It is all a lot to process, and art can help us find a path, providing ways to process information on emotional and perceptive registers. The Visualising Science Online Exhibition of 2020 is important and exciting. It welcomes viewers from all walks of life to consider their perceptions, concerns and aspirations through engagement with art and science.

Sally McKay

PhD Art History and Visual Culture 

Professor School of the Arts- McMaster

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Science and Art