The Art of Science: Most Agreeable Developments

janeIf Jane Austen blogged about science art, she would note that it is a truth universally acknowledged, that artists and scientists are rarely found in the same place. You don’t often find an artist in a lab, and you seldom see a scientist in a gallery. (Yes, yes, I know, there are exceptions! It’s not polite to interrupt Jane Austen.)

There are many reasons for this, involving various permutations of, well, let’s not say pride or prejudice exactly, but perhaps a difference of sensibilities.  Now comes an opportunity to get around at least a few of these, by having artists meet scientists where they are.

Two major annual meetings of scientific organizations, The American Public Health Association and the Society for Neuroscience, have created opportunities for science artists to display and sell their work to their thousands of attendees. Rather remarkably, both take place on exactly the same dates – November 15-19, 2014.

The annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held this year in New Orleans, attracts 12,000 attendees in a wide variety of fields related to public health. As part of a new initiative called Art @ The Expo, they are looking for 20 artists or crafters whose work is health, medicine or science related to show and vend at the meeting. The $200 booth fee for 3 days is a fraction of what APHA charges its large commercial exhibitors.  More information and guidelines for applicants are here.

Do you delight in dendrites? The Art of Neuroscience, part of the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), seeks artists whose work is directly related to neuroscience. For a $300 fee, artists can show their work at the gigantic gathering of some 30,000 neuroscientists in Washington, DC. Interested artists can find more information and a prospectus here  – the deadline for applications is August 29.

It’s really encouraging to see large scientific organizations take steps to include independent artists and crafters in their events. AAAS, ACS, ASM, please take note. If, to quote Jane Austen, “one half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other,” at least some people are making an effort to provide a peek over the fence. Perhaps others may be persuaded?

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