CERN scientists to participate in arts/sciences roundup

Monday, November 17, 2014

LAWRENCE — International scientists and artists, including representatives from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), will come together this week at the University of Kansas to discuss how their disciplines stimulate and inspire one another. The roundtable, Excavating the Universe: Physics Interacts with the Arts, will take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at The Commons, Spooner Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Two scientists on the panel will represent CERN, an international collaboration of 1,300 scientists from 149 scientific institutions and 37 countries. CERN created the Large Hadron Collider, which is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Panelist Paolo Giubellino is an experimental physicist who leads A Large Ion Collider Experiment (ALICE) at CERN. Giubellino will also give a public lecture at The Commons at 1:30 p.m. before the roundtable discussion. The talk, “The Big Bang in the Laboratory,” will summarize his research of high-energy, heavy-ion collisions.

Also participating in the panel is Ariane Koek, coordinator of the Arts@CERN project, which facilitates collaborations between the arts and sciences. As Koek explains on the project’s website:

“We believe that particle physics and the arts are inextricably linked: both are ways to explore our existence – what it is to be human and our place in the universe.”

Other roundtable panels include physicist and filmmaker Agnes Mocsy, who is on the faculty at Pratt Institute in New York; artist Marissa Benedict, coordinator of the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative at the University of Chicago; and designers from the studio MK12, which created graphics for the film “Particle Fever,” which follows scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider.

Assistant Professor of Physics Daniel Tapia Takaki, who has also worked with the ALICE project at CERN, helped organize the roundtable discussion. He said interdisciplinary projects between the arts and sciences can help enhance the communication of ideas.

“Communicating results through scientific publications has limited reach. By collaborating with artists, the hope is that they are able to help us share our findings in different and accessible ways,” Takaki said.

Takaki said these collaborations are mutually beneficial for both fields. The roundtable will address questions such as “How do we create collaborations in which the scientist and artist both benefit?” and “What are the lasting influences of the collaboration?”

The roundtable is supported by the Arts Research Collaboration (ARC) initiative at the Spencer Museum of Art. ARC aims to foster innovative interdisciplinary research at the intersection of the arts, sciences, technology and society. Supported by the KU Research Investment Council, ARC is a partnership of the Spencer Museum, the Biodiversity Institute, the Information and Telecommunication Technology Center and the Department of Visual Art.

Continuing the theme of interdisciplinary collaboration, ARC will host a conference in March 2015 about hybrid practices and research in the arts, sciences and technology from the 1960s to today.

Program Information:

Nov. 21

"The Big Bang in the Laboratory": Presentation by Paolo Giubellino

1:30–2:30 p.m. at The Commons


Excavating the Universe: Physics Interacts with the Arts roundtable discussion

2:30–4 p.m. at The Commons


March 2015

Conference: Hybrid Practices in the Arts, Sciences & Technology from the 1960s to Today

More information here.

The Spencer Museum of Art houses an internationally known collection that is deep and diverse, with artworks and artifacts in all media. The collection spans the history of European and American art from ancient to contemporary, and includes broad and significant holdings of East Asian art. Areas of special strength include medieval panel painting and religious sculpture; the Kress Study Collection of early modern Italian painting; 19th-century American art and material culture; old master prints; photography; European, East Asian, and Indian textiles; American Indian pottery, beadwork, and jewelry; African sculpture; Japanese Edo-period prints; and 20th-century Chinese painting.