New Generation Scientists Speak: Sci|Art: Connections, Art|Sci Networks
Date : 3/11/2011
Time : 4 - 6pm
Venue : M4051, L4, RRS Creative Media Centre
Free admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

Conducted in English.
It used to be common for a scientist to be an artist and vice versa. Somewhere during history boundaries have been raised between the Arts and the Sciences, making it difficult to cross boundaries, creating the illusion that the gap between them is unbridgeable. But a new generation of scientists and artists are emerging, fostering dialog and innovating collaborations, thereby creating a new space where technology blends with design, where scientific research is coloured with art.

In recent art/science dialogues, we tend to hear about artist’s experiences and inspirations in relation to these kind of cross‐disciplinary collaborations. This panel is made up of scientists who are active in their respective fields but also have long term collaborative relationships with artists. They will discuss, from their point of view, why it is important to engage these new research territories at this historical juncture.

Moderated by an artist, these scientists will discuss our experiences in melding (or re‐melding) these two worlds – from a nanoscience, neuroscience and biotechnology perspective merging with that of design media arts. In the process we hope to engage the audience with thoughts about the future of Sci|Art, the process of collaboration and how to nurture its growth.


School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong


Victoria Vesna

Victoria Vesna, Ph.D., is a media artist and Professor at the UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI). She is currently a Visiting Professor at City University, Hong Kong, Parsons Art, Media + Technology, New York, a senior researcher at IMeRA – Institut Mediterraneen de Recherches Avancees in Marseille.

Her work can be defined as experimental creative research that resides between disciplines and technologies. With her installations she explores how communication technologies affect collective behavior and how perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation.


Adam Stieg

Adam Stieg, Ph.D ‐ Director of the Sci | Art NanoLab Summer Institute. Originally raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Adam received his B.A. from Drew University and Ph.D. in Physical‐Inorganic Chemistry from UCLA. As Scientific Director of Nano and Pico Characterization at the California NanoSystems Institute, his research focuses on the design and application of physical methods toward characterization of nanoscale systems, ranging from the physical to biological, through the development of multi‐environment, high‐performance scanning probe microscopes. Numerous ongoing, collaborative efforts involve the study of molecular machines and devices, nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, inorganic carbon‐based materials, and tailored functional surfaces for stem cell differentiation. Recently established research directions include the use of engineered, supramolecular protein assemblies toward the construction of functional meso‐scale devices and the pursuit of physically derived intelligent systems through neuromorphic computation. His direct involvement in a variety of collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects between the arts and sciences has provided both inspiration and motivation for bringing the power of such creative approaches to the forefront of education.

Siddharth Ramakrishnan

Siddharth Ramakrishnan, PhD. is a Neuroscientist currently working in the field of Bioelectronics at Columbia University in New York. He works on designing microchips to record from brain cells and using proteins to create bio‐batteries and biosensors. As a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA (2006‐2009) he studied the development and physiology of reproductive neurons in the zebrafish brain. His PhD dissertation (UIC, 2005) addressed pattern generating networks in snails and how they were modulated to elicit various behaviors. He co‐teaches the Hybrid Worlds: Nano_biotech + Art course with Victoria Vesna at the New School of Design, New York. In 2011, he was invited to speak at DASER, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. His collaborations with artists and architects have led to exhibitions and documentaries that blend the worlds of art and science. Currently he has been appointed Fellow of the UCLA Art|Sci center.

Romie Littrell

Romie Littrell’s research is focused on the exchange of tools and methods between artists and scientists. In the present he is a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Dept. at UCLA. He received his BA in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley. Since then he has engaged in a wide array of biological research including maize genetics, cornea tissue engineering, microfluidic bioreactors, and cell‐chip interfaces. His current research focuses on creating non‐institutional laboratories and abstracting biological techniques to facilitate those in unrelated fields to perform advanced biology. Romie is also very interested in synthetic biology, is the founder of SoCal DIYBio, and was a grad advisor to the 2007 MIT iGEM team.

More information about the UCLA Art | Sci center + lab and the emerging ArtSci network:

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