“Nature has always astounded the scientifically inclined with the complex yet elegantly simple beauty of its design. Sometimes the image that one sees looking through a microscope lens or out into space is just as pleasing as a Monet or Rembrandt.”
This was the rationale behind the first Art of Science Competition held by the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2011 – to embody the beauty in engineering and science.
With a record 84 entries this year, the competition continues to thrive and -- as Hajim Dean Wendi Heinzelman says -- “to engage members of the community in looking at what they see every day in a new light.”
Submissions are solicited – and received—from across the University. Recent winners have included students in chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology. And for the first time this year a People’s Choice Award will be given.
Since 2017 winning entries have been put on permanent display in the Carlson Science and Engineering Library. “The Carlson Science and Engineering Library is a perfect location to celebrate and showcase the Art of Science – the outcome of science, creativity, and beauty,” says Mary Ann Mavrinac, the vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries. She is also one of the judges for the competition.
“As a communal, interdisciplinary space, the Art of Science will – hopefully – inspire wonder, and be a catalyst for students, staff, and faculty to learn the wonders of science,” she says.
Harold Clark, senior director of STEM Learning & Community at the Rochester Museum & Science Center -- who is also a judge -- says the competition helps make science and technology accessible to the general public. As such, it provides a platform for “technical folk to learn how to share the passion for what they do with vocabulary and metaphor that is appropriate for people who aren’t in their field, or even in science or technology. It isn’t an issue of dumbing things down; it’s finding the way to connect with the audience’s knowledge and life experience.”
Brian McIntyre, who organized this year’s competition, concurs. “Practitioners of science are good at speaking amongst themselves, but for the broader world to understand the significance of both what we do and why we do it, our communication needs to be relevant to their experience,” says McIntyre, director of operations for URnano and a lecturer in optics.
Members of the public have an opportunity to see for themselves when the winners of this year’s competition are announced beginning at 1 p.m., May 1, on the second floor of the Carlson Library. Refreshments will be provided.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Carlson Science and Engineering Library, Second Floor
160 Trustee Rd, Rochester, NY 14642