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What are the benefits of a science and art collaboration?

"Exhilarating, challenging, enlightening, stimulating, inspiring, fun"- Words used by readers of Nature to describe science and art collaborations.

Traditionally, science and art have been seen as entirely different, contrasting fields.

However, recently, an intersection has developed in the form of an interdisciplinary field called STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. This has led to many benefits, expanding our use of innovative, unique methods of science communication.


Such collaborations between art and science have allowed us to foster a deeper understanding of science, leading to a greater public understanding of science. Artists and scientists now, more than ever, are working together, leading to the creation of interdisciplinary projects that challenge our knowledge and understanding of science.


These connections between the two fields offer numerous benefits. Specifically, enhanced, creative science communication is created, reaching broader audiences due to the common love of art. It also allows for stronger emotional connections and increased understanding of the work due to more accessible methods of presentation.


Opening science to a broader audience through creative means allows the public to engage more deeply with the content. Immersive, multi-sensory experiences, such as paintings, interactive exhibits, music, performances or games allow for a stronger connection to develop between the audience and the knowledge being communicated. This intersection between art and science opens the world of scientific knowledge through a more accessible, engaging format. Audiences that may not typically have an interest in science, such as children or those with no formal scientific education, may discover an interest through these fun and exciting collaborations, furthering the reach of science.


Science and Art in Museum Settings

One specific example of the intersection between science and art can be seen in museums. Museums focus on creating heavily immersive experiences, often working closely with artists to inspire awe and adventure in their scientific communication. 


Many museums include short films or musical backdrops to their exhibits, keeping people engaged through different formats. One novel and notable example of a collaboration between art and science can be seen in the National Gallery in London. They have created a mobile phone-based immersive adventure, consisting of an augmented reality trail for children (or anyone interested, really!) to follow. The trail provides an entertaining, unique take on the collection, teaching the users about the displays.


Creating these collaborations in spaces such as museums opens their doors to a wider range of people, contributing to a sense of community building. This allows for a greater sense of inclusion for those who are not familiar with science, creating positive narratives about the science through fun, engaging methods. Potentially, new connections and friendships can even be made in such spaces.


Science and Music in Climate Science

Another specific example of how artists and scientists have worked together can be seen through a unique combination of music and climate science. Australia’s Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, except, climate prediction data for each season was included in the work. They titled this redesigned piece The (Uncertain) Four Seasons. This brought to attention the pressing urgency of climate change while also entertaining and engaging the audience through music.


In conclusion, collaborations between science and art benefit everyone: the scientist, the artist and the public. Innovative experiences are created, new connections are fostered and public engagement is boosted within these fields through this interdisciplinary mode of science communication.


Article Key Take Home Messages


  1. The emergence of STEAM and interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists and artists. This collaboration has proven to be exhilarating and inspiring, challenging traditional perceptions of the two fields as separate entities.

  2. The collaboration between science and art results in innovative methods of science communication. By leveraging the power of art, scientists can reach a broader audience, fostering deeper understanding and emotional connections.

  3. Immersive, multi-sensory experiences, such as paintings, interactive exhibits, music, performances, or games, facilitate a stronger connection between the audience and scientific knowledge. The partnerships between science and art benefit scientists, artists, and the public by creating innovative experiences, fostering new connections, and boosting engagement in both fields.




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