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Visualizing Science

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Through engaging exhibits, illustrations, and movies, artists are bringing science to general audiences in elegant, even fun ways that help the public understand complex scientific concepts.

To better understand how scientists and artists can and do interact and how art can enrich research results by explaining phenomena visually and creatively, swissnex San Francisco hosts a panel discussion with Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, renowned Swiss scientific illustrator; Tierney Thys, marine biologist, science communicator, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer; Charles Sowers, artist and exhibit developer at the Exploratorium; and Erin Biba (moderator), WIRED Magazine correspondent covering science.

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Visualizing Science

  1. 1. Visualizing Science<br />Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, SwitzerlandCharles Sowers, ExploratoriumTierney Thys, National Geographic Emerging ExplorerErin Biba, WIRED<br />Follow us! <br />swissnexSF<br />Become a Fan! <br />Initiative of the State Secretariat for Education and Research SER Annex of the Consulate General.<br />Swiss Knowledge Network with outposts in Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai and Singapore<br />
  2. 2. Cornelia Hesse-Honegger<br />A scientific illustrator and artist, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger was born in 1944 in Zurich, Switzerland. She worked for 25 years as a scientific illustrator for the scientific department of the Natural History Museum at the University of Zurich. Since 1969, she has collected and painted bugs in the suborder Heteroptera. Her watercolors act as an interface between art and science and pay witness to a beautiful but endangered nature. Since the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl in 1986, she has collected, studied, and painted morphologically disturbed insects she finds in the fallout areas of this and other nuclear plants. Since the early 1970s, her work has been shown in various galleries and museums in Switzerland, as well as at prestigious institutions such as the Muséed'ArtModerne de la Ville de Paris, the Chelsea Art Museum in New York, and the KunsthausNürnberg.<br />
  3. 3. Scorpionfly, from Reuental, Canton Aargau, Switzerland<br />
  4. 4. Fire Bug from Teptov Berlin, Germany<br />
  5. 5. Harlequin Bug from Three Mile Island area<br />
  6. 6. Charles Sowers<br />Charles Sowers is an artist and exhibit developer at the Exploratorium who has been making thought-provoking, beautiful, and sometimes whimsical experiences for visitors for the past 15 years. He seeks to provoke a sense of delight and wonder and to reward extended observation. Frequently, this involves developing an apparatus to recreate and/or highlight some natural phenomenon observed in the world—the swirl of fog blowing over a hill, the formation of ice on a puddle, or the flow of water and foam on the beach as a wave drains away. These things often go un-noticed until pointed out but, according to Sowers, the mundane can be sublime.<br />Science serves as a deep resource for creative ideas for Sowers, and he frequently collaborates with scientists to recreate lab experiments.<br />
  7. 7. Aeolean Contour (2001)<br />
  8. 8. Spinning Patterns (2000)<br />
  9. 9. Marangoni Convection (2007)<br />
  10. 10. Tierney Thys<br />Thys earned her A.B. in biology from Brown University and her Ph.D. studying fish biomechanics at Duke University. She worked with media group Sea Studios Foundation, in Monterey, California,  as a senior research consultant and taught environmental science and policy as an adjunct professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She continues her research on the world's heaviest bony fish, the Molamola, as part of the Census of Marine Life.<br />Thys was recently elected a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and nominated for a Pew Fellowship in marine conservation. She serves on the braintrust for the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED.com) conference and on the task force for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry's new Exploration Hall. She previously worked with Sylvia Earle at Deep Ocean Engineering on the "Deep Flight" submersible, has piloted the Nuytco Deep Worker subs, and is a certified diver and private land and sea pilot. She also served as a judge for the 2009 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. <br />
  11. 11. Erin Biba<br />Erin Biba is a correspondent for WIRED Magazine. Based in San-Francisco, she writes about science and its intersection with technology and popular culture—covering topics like the physics of time, NASA’s latest space-based telescope, and beer made from 145-million-year-old yeast. Her work has appeared in Nylon, The Sydney Morning Herald, PC World, and The Atlantic. Follow her stories and thoughts about the latest in science and SciFi on Twitter.<br />
  12. 12. Event details and registration<br />07 Apr 2010 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM Pacific Time<br />Location: 730 Montgomery St San Francisco, CA 94111<br />Cost: Free. Advance RSVP required.<br />RSVP here: http://www.swissnexsanfrancisco.org/Ourwork/events/visualizing-science<br />

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