Art for Science Researchers:
- Think across the corpus callosum: Does your work have anything to do with color? Or rhythm or light or sound or movement or manipulation of materials? Do you sketch or gesture or play with physical models to help you think about your idea? Are you looking for new ways to visualize information graphically? When crochet is the best way to model the hyperbolic geometry of a nudibranch, we can’t ignore art. Working with an artist may shed new light on your research questions.
- Find the center of your story: Translate to the public what is centrally important about your work. What is your message? Why is it important? Where might it lead? Artists can help you get to the meaning behind your work, to become a better communicator of your ideas.
- Brighter, broader impacts: Find creative ways to share your work, recruit and train young minds, apply what you do for public interest.
Art for Science Faculty:
- Develop creative minds: The most important thing students need for the future is creativity; yet our K-12 schools are eliminating arts programs. Re-unite art with science to cultivate students’ curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Studies show that arts improve cognitive skills across the curriculum, and that holds true for students at every level, K-gray. Give your students an opportunity to use their whole minds.
- Integrate across the curriculum: Working and playing with materials, observing, asking questions, experimenting… these are the activities of raw creativity and they belong to both art and science. The word “university” comes from universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which means a community of teachers and scholars. The richest learning comes from participating in that community, reaching across disciplinary divides.
- New pedagogy: Create new ways to make the narratives of science resonate with students. Using multiple pedagogies that engage all the senses will help your students understand, retain, and apply what they learn.
- Homeschooling: If you are a homeschooler, you have the great opportunity to integrate multiple disciplines. Give your students an opportunity to explore the world with a more holistic, interdisciplinary approach.
Art for Science Institutions — Informal Science Education:
- Outreach and education: Museums, science centers, nature centers, biological field stations, marine labs and other science education centers can reach new audiences through the arts. Display works of art in public spaces, set up performances to reach new audiences, and provide arts residencies and classes to see science through a different lens. Art can help tell your important science stories and reach new audiences. Sell your stories. Move people to understand, care, and act.
- Novel ideas: New ideas happen when working across disciplines, outside comfort zones, when different worlds come together. Art-science collaborations break down silos, build network connections, create fertile ground for new ideas.
- Fundraising and friend-raising: As an institution seeking funding, many of your potential donors are art lovers too. Performance events focus energy and communicate meaning in ways that powerpoint cannot. Visual art and sculpture can lend sophistication to your public spaces and underline the important work you do. You can reproduce artworks as prints and other items for additional fundraising.
- Fill your space: Arts residencies and classes make use of your space and bring new sources of revenue.
Work with artists. Move someone.
Contact Nancy Lowe: sciencecandance (at) gmail (dot) com