Artists and Scientists Pledge Partnerships for Public Good




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Mar 03, 2015
by Stuart Milne
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Artists and Scientists Pledge Partnerships for Public Good

Neuroscience of Art session concludes with vows to improve artistic/scientific collaboration, and share results with the world The Fellows and staff of Session 547 | The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation?

Session 547 | The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity & Innovation? came to an exciting and optimistic end on Thursday February 26.

After hammering out their resolutions and preparing their presentations in the morning, the focus groups reported to the final gathering of Fellows in Parker Hall. One key theme emerging from the conclusions was how to improve collaboration between scientists and artists.

Here are some of the main points:

One group proposed forming imagination hubs, or incubators, where scientists and artists can be free to inhabit each other's space and, as one Fellow put it, "hang out, but in a deep way".

Fostering better relations between scientists and artists was a thread picked up by a number of focus groups. One suggested mirroring artist-in-residence programs by setting up arrangements for visiting scientists and scientist residencies in art departments to allow artists deeper access to scientific discovery, and interpret it to the wider world through various media.

Fellows stressed the importance of finding ways to bring the fruits of artistic and scientific collaboration to mass audiences. An interdisciplinary journal documenting and analyzing such collaborations was proposed, on the condition that it be open-access to allow as many people as possible to read it.

It was also emphasized that the results of collaborations have an impact on wider communities. One Fellow shared an ambition to use theatre to create a study of how actors generate and audiences receive emotion, and use the findings to improve community relations in a depressed and violent neighborhood.

The final group to present provided a platform for Fellows to continue to grow and develop their newly-formed networks through a new blog, to run initially for three months with ambitions to continue. The blog would be a platform for continuing the discussions held at Salzburg Global, linking to resources and pitching new ideas to each other. After three months, the Fellow deemed to have contributed most to public engagement with art/science collaborations would be awarded a special prize.

It is testament to the energy and enthusiasm of these session Fellows that a number stayed in Parker Hall to continue talking about their plans for nearly an hour after the close of proceedings, and many more bounced ideas off each other during dinner. The Fellows made commitments to decide how to collaborate with each other before they left, and Salzburg Global looks forward to sharing the results of their partnerships as they develop.

Interviews with a range of Fellows showcasing their ideas and projects will be available on the Salzburg Global website in the coming days.

The Salzburg Global session The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation? is part of Salzburg Global’s long-running Culture and the Arts series. The session is supported by the Edward T. Cone Foundation. More information on the session can be found here: You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSculture.

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