18 December 2009

The Art of Science: Progetto Da Vinci

Posted by Michael McFadden

Scientists and Science Through the Artist's EyeI’m in Moscone South about to go down the escalator to see posters when something catches my eye: a row of pen and ink pictures standing on easels, catching the afternoon light. One in particular compels me to move closer–it is called “Abdallah discovers the science of UV light,” and shows the expression of curiosity and discovery on a child’s face as he realizes that science is cool.

At the display is Jennifer Smith, a clinical community psychologist from Seattle and the artist who created the work on display. “I saw Abdallah at AGU’s Exploration Station family science event on Sunday,” she explained. He was so meserized, that he asked, ‘Mom, can we stay here the whole day?’ And they did!”

Smith’s art is part of AGU’s new art/science collabotation called Progetto DaVinci. With a goal of exploring how art can illuminate scientists and science, Progetto DaVinci breaks the typical AGU meeting mold. “We want to use art to show the diversity and depth of the Earth and space sciences,” Smith said.

The work on display captures something that harsh photographs may not–the humanity of science. Far to often, scientists are portrayed as being dry robots that spout equations and are disconnected with the world they claim to study. But through Smith’s drawings, they become what they are: human beings.

Smith plans on expanding her work to include drawings of scientists in the field. She welcomes feedback! You can contact her at [email protected]

–Mohi Kumar, AGU Science Writer