Art Meets Science

Introduction - Science and Art

Every day, there is a new vision of the world that is being created by scientists and the science community. We want to give the possibility for everyone to be part of this future we are building. Therefore, we need to be able to share our passion for science, in a language that everybody understands. A new way of doing Science Communication is based on non-conventional communication. It aims to transform complex scientific information into abstract expression forms, without losing the essence of our research. Have you ever thought of combining Art and Science? The idea was to incorporate exciting ways to impress our audience, to spread our message. We can use colors, feelings, impressions, art, and audio-visual content, among other examples. This is the opening gate to a new communication world, where almost everything is possible. In that way, we can combine abstract methods and erase the limits between the scientific and non-scientific community.

Felipe Lobos Lab gallery

Now that we have learned of this new way of science communication, it was time to apply it to our project. After a long discussion, we came to the conclusion that visual art would be the best way to achieve our goal. The viewer's attention will be captured by color fusions, which are mixed in an abstract piece that is inspired by our project. This method of communication allowed us to connect science with feelings. Our goal was to reach people on a deeper level. We wanted to show the passion that we feel for our research.
Felipe Lobos is known in Chile with the pseudonym of Dunaz. He is a Chilean artist who dedicated his life to the understanding of art from different perspectives, taking inspiration from street art, life, and sensory perceptions of reality. Through the help of the international members of our iGEM team, we got in touch with Dunaz and told him about our project. Due to his approach to art, the theme of merging science and biology captured his attention. Therefore, we formed a taskforce to find ways to tell our story through organic art. To achieve our goal, we had to reapply scientific communication and create a field of work where we could communicate without problems. Hence, we had several sessions in which we discussed basic concepts of biology. We also talked about what challenges we could be facing during this project and how to solve them. When we reached a general understanding and a comfortable working atmosphere, we proceeded to delve into our project and explain synthetic biology and fundamental concepts such as DNA cloning and the genetic transformation of organisms. With all the knowledge acquired, we began to define the theme of the paintings; we started to search for the fundamental pillars needed for understanding our work in the laboratory. We looked for the necessary inspiration and discussed the best way to present these pillars abstractly. We were able to sketch the design of the paintings. After this, Felipe Lobos had his creative process, where our team provided the necessary help and materials. We finally had five pieces of art for our virtual gallery.
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Besides creating our own lab gallery, we shared our idea with the iGEM community (see Collaborations.). Our goal was to let iGEM Teams around the world contribute to using another form of communication – artwork. Thus, we collaborated with iGEM OSU (Ohio State University), Wageningen, Kaiserslautern, Nantes and Bonn. Inspired by our idea, the teams created their own artwork to present important aspects of their project. Since our goal was to integrate Science and Art equally, they did not only let their impressive artwork speak. But they explained its scientific background and impact in an understandable way for everyone.

Explanatory videos

To complement the exhibition of the paintings, explanatory material should be used to show the real meaning of each abstract painting. Thus, we decided to make explanatory videos (see Collaborations.) about the fundamental laboratory processes of our project. To continue with the artistic scope of the work, we decided to create animated drawings made by ourselves. During this creative process, we had to combine everything we have been learning, to achieve a simple communication of complex processes. As a team we draw the concepts, animated the video and narrated the explanation of the scientific development.


In conclusion, we can see the importance of deconstructing conventional forms of communication, to allow seeing science from another perspective. We are sure that this implementation will continue to grow. Creativity and science will stop being opposite compounds but will work as a team to create something beautiful and easy to spread.

© iGEM Hamburg 2021