Stories of Art and Science: conference program


17 Sept 2009

9:00AM @ Reitoria [Salão Nobre]

Printable registration form here. Online registration (Portuguese) here.



The relationships between art and science, their intersections and dissimilarities, have been since long object of much debate. Along with other issues, the discussion has been looking at aims, life of past objects, and importance of criticism.
In view of a comprehensive understanding of these kinds of questions and of the debate a narrative of specific collaboration episodes might be a useful starting point. As a contribution in this regard, we propose the conference “STORIES OF ART AND SCIENCE”. The conference, planned to take place in September 2009, will launch the event NOMADIC.0910 – Meetings between Art and Science.


Bringing together people from the visual and performance arts, the natural sciences and the humanities, the proposed event aims at exploring the dynamics of knowledge production and, more specifically, at sorting out the ways art and science foster each other’s development, their open and hidden connections.


The program has been designed to gather a broad audience, including scholars and students in the different areas of knowledge, artists, and lay-public.
Registration will be required for attendance; a small fee will be due.


The conference with duration of one day is structured into the three main sessions:

Between Cultures (BC)

Fifty years after the publication of the Snow’s lecture The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, the idea is to acknowledge hybrid places. Should the debate be reconfigured?

On Display (OD)

In a sense, the need of an audience distinguishes art and science. But placing science in society is now on the agenda. We have been witnessing the growth of science outreach in recent years. Art-science collaborations in public engagement of science projects are a new face of science. Why is science displayed through art? The idea here is to focus on making things visible. We will enter the science museum, look at the display and conservation of the cultural record and may be an artist’s view on portraying the invisible will add a new insight.

Stories in the History (SH)

In the analysis of the historical isolation of science from the arts we must not ignore stories of collaboration and mutual influence. Some of these stories – crossing natural sciences, visual arts, literary thinking, film, music or even economy – will be presented.


Speakers include:

* Michael Punt: Provisional Connections: Science and Arts – Tales of Sound and Fury (BC)

* Monique Sicard: Between Painters and Scientists/The Paradox of the Concomitant Emergence of Pictorial Abstraction and Photographic Realism (BC)

* David Frankel: The Design of Experience and Communication-Capture in Modern Organisation (BC)

* Shirley Wheeler: Tracing the Invisible (OD)

* Maria Esteva: Endless Possibilities: Digital Collections as Crossroads between the Humanities and the Sciences (OD)

* Len Massey: Drawing the Invisible (OD)

* Jane S. Richardson: Drawing 3D Protein Structures (SH)

* Laura Salisbury: A Neurological Modernism: Language, Materiality and the Twentieth-Century Word (SH)

* Deanna Petherbridge: George Stubbs’ Comparative Anatomical Exposition (1795-1806) and its Relationship to Theories of Degeneration of the Primordial Species (SH)

* Daniela Coimbra: Psychology, Music and Performance (SH)

* David A. Kirby: Big Screen Science: Scientists’ Backstage Role in the Production of Hollywood Films (SH)

* Vincent Barras: Report on an Art-Science Doctoral Program: Neurosciences, Psychopathology and Arts, 20th-21st C. (SH)

Chairs and keynote speakers include:

* Alexandre Quintanilha, IBMC-INEB, ICBAS

* Artur Pimenta Alves, INESC Porto, FEUP

* Filomena Vasconcelos, FLUP

* Lúcia Almeida Matos, FBAUP

* Marcos García, Media Lab Prado


Morgan O’Hara


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