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  • Communicating ScienceExplorations through Science and Art
  • Eleanor Gates-Stuart

Science and art have a history of distinctive differences and opposing notions of experimentation. Nevertheless, these “two cultures,” as described by C.P. Snow, have more in common than might be supposed. Both are highly creative, both are exploratory, both have flashes of brilliance. It is surprising, therefore, that “scienceart,” or “artscience,” has not been intensively studied as a “third culture.” It is in this interactive space between the disciplines that this research study is focused. It is the expression of science through art and art through science.

Three case studies of communicating science through art are discussed. The works in these studies used art to express science to sectors of the public, research organizations and scientists themselves. Each case study addresses a research question about the communication of science and in turn discusses the creation of art to achieve this communication.

The first case study, FingerCodes, concerns a series of works using the fingerprint as a foundation for expressions of identity. The second, Titanium Insects, describes a collaboration between a scientist and an artist to inform both the science and the art. The third, StellrScope, extends the scope and depth of science-art intersection through an extensive study of wheat-science innovation over one hundred years, which resulted in a public artwork in a national science museum. The thesis makes recommendations for future practice and concludes with a new template—a model for similar collaborations.

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Eleanor Gates-Stuart, In the Mix, archival pigment ink on paper, 2013.

(© Eleanor Gates-Stuart)

[End Page 460]

Eleanor Gates-Stuart
<>. PhD diss., Australian National University, Australia, 2014.


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