Collaborations with artists go beyond scientific communication

Collaborations with artists go beyond scientific communication

Centerbeam: MIT’s iconic 1977 art-science installation Credit: Dietmar Löhrl / CAVS Special Collection, MIT

Uplifting, stimulating, enlightening, stimulating, inspiring, fun.

These are some of the words Nature readers have used to describe their experiences of art-science collaborations in a series of articles on partnerships between artists and researchers. Almost 40% of the 350 or so people who responded to a support survey said they had collaborated with artists; and almost all said they would consider doing it in the future.

Such an encouraging result is not surprising. Public engagement has become essential for many research projects. Scientists are increasingly looking for visual artists and designers to help communicate their work to new audiences. “Artists help scientists reach larger audiences and make emotional connections that enhance learning,” one respondent said. “The experience is very liberating for me as a scientist,” said another. “There is often a visual aspect in my science that generates and publishes data does not transmit. “

An example of how artists …

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