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Biomedicine in museums

Synthetic biology — science, art, design

By September 18, 2011No Comments

After more than half a year of budget negotations, Medical Museion is now officially part of the EC 7th FWP programme-financed project StudioLab.

Inspired by the merging of the artists studio with the research lab to create a hybrid creative space, STUDIOLAB proposes the creation of a new European platform for creative interactions between art and science. STUDIOLAB brings together major players in scientific research with centres of excellence in the arts and experimental design and leverages the existence of a new network of hybrid spaces to pilot a series of projects at the interface between art and science.

Science Gallery in Dublin, Le Laboratoire in Paris, Ars Electronica in Linz, Royal College of Art in London, and MediaLab Prado in Madrid are the five major partners — and the rest of us, including Medical Museion, are six associated partners (which means we get less money — but also have less responsibility).

StudioLab will involve activities along three key dimensions: incubation of art-science projects, education and public engagement. Medical Museion’s part of the contract is to create a public engagement-oriented installation and event about synthetic biology (i.e., the next hot topic in the life sciences).

So now we are on the outlook for good ideas! And I thought we might get some inspiration from the seminar titled ‘Organizing collaborations: Synthetic biology, social science, art and design’ that Jane Calvert from INNOGEN, Edinburgh, is giving here in Copenhagen on Thursday:

Something that makes the emerging field of synthetic biology particularly interesting is that diverse groups including social scientists, ethicists, lawyers, policy makers, artists, designers and publics are becoming involved in the field from the outset. In this presentation, Jane Calvert explores the opportunities and challenges provided by these new forms of collaboration, drawing both on her own experiences as a social scientist studying synthetic biology, and on the Synthetic Aesthetics project, which brings synthetic biologists together with artists and designers.

This is very much along the lines we’ve been thinking in the StudioLab context.

The seminar takes place Thursday 22 September, 3-5 pm, in room K4.41, Kilevej 14A, Copenhagen Business School. Be sure to register for the seminar by email to before 19 September.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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