Art/Science Collisions: Communicating With Data

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Short description The aim of this course is to explore and draw inspiration from the scientific process, its representations, and data. What does it mean to use the “scientific method”? What is the purpose and value of data produced in experiments? How true are representations crafted with data, and who wants or needs to know about scientific results? What do we gain by incorporating scientific data or visualization into our own work? The course focuses on cases from emerging and converging scientific and technological fields: nano, info, & bio. The goal is to cultivate purposeful science communication and to encourage critical responses to scientific and technological practice in modern culture. Over the course of the class, each student focuses on a particular area of science and becomes familiar with its process, language, and data. To do this, we get some first hand experience unpacking particular visualizations, talking with scientists and students of scientific disciplines, and interviewing members of our potential audiences. Who produces and analyses data, what are they looking for in their results? Who else is interested in understanding data --in what setting, through what medium or interface? From these direct experiences, we propose our own art/science collisions: using artistic sensibilities and media tools to communicate about the scientific process, contextualize and annotate visualizations, and frame our chosen topic for particular audiences: museum-goers, policy makers, the disabled, teachers, adults, or children. In periodic “science salons,” we discuss our chosen areas of science, associated datasets and visualizations, affiliated scientists, and potential audiences. We formulate our own approach to communicating information about science, data, and the topics these inform. Students fully-develop one idea as a media/ interactive presentation for the final project, incorporating scientific data and framing the presentation for a select audience and setting.
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Sections Offered Has year offered
Art/Science Collisions: Communicating With Data Spring '09 with Gretchen Gano 24548332009
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