Scientific Discovery through Art

Saturday Speaker
Saturday, October 13, 2018
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Scientists sometimes appear siloed, researching a small part of a larger system of inquiry, while other disciplines such as the arts provide opportunities to look at the larger picture. Join Rebecca Kamen as she talks about her experience as an artist who got the rare invitation to conduct research at both the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University and the neuroscience program at the National Institutes of Health. Learn about how Kamen’s scientific research informed her artistic practice, and vice versa.

Admission to our Saturday Speaker Series is free, and no reservations are necessary.

About the Speaker

Rebecca Kamen, artist and lecturer on the intersections of art and science, seeks “the truth” through observation. Her artwork is informed by wide-ranging research into cosmology, history, and philosophy, and by connecting common threads that flow across various scientific fields to capture and reimagine what the scientists see. She has investigated scientific rare books and manuscripts at the libraries of the American Philosophical Society, the Science History Institute, and the Cajal Institute in Madrid, using these significant scientific collections as a catalyst in the creation of her work. Kamen has researched on collaborative projects at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the National Institutes of Health. Selected as a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow in 2015, she was invited to Austria to present her work as part of a seminar titled “The Neuroscience of Art: What Are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation?” Kamen has exhibited and lectured both nationally and internationally. As artist in residence at the neuroscience program at the National Institutes of Health and in the Neuroscience Initiative and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, Kamen has interpreted and transformed neuroscience research into sculptural form. Her artwork is represented in many private and public collections.


Image: Rebecca Kamen in front of her installation The Platonic Solids, 2011. Photo by Conrad Erb.