Conversations on Art and Science Event Series

Under the leadership of SAIC president Walter Massey, the Conversations on Art and Science event series was launched in 2011 as a forum for exploring interdisciplinary and critical perspectives on art, science, design, and technology. Lectures or panel discussions hosted each fall semester bring noted artists, designers, and scholars to the SAIC campus to discuss their work. These dialogues provide a time and place for considering myriad perspectives on art, science, design, and technology. They also sustain the diverse conversations on art and science that are ongoing in the work of faculty and students at SAIC.


Wilson Hall, the iconic high-rise building at the heart of the Fermilab grounds
Wilson Hall, the iconic high-rise building at the heart of the Fermilab grounds

Colliding Art and Science:
Particle physics and architecture at Fermilab and common research methods in art practice

Tuesday, February 24, 4:30 p.m.
The LeRoy Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave.

Artist Meghan Moe Beitiks (MFA 2013), physicist Sam Zeller, and docent Anne Mary Teichert will discuss neutrino research at Fermilab, America’s premier particle physics laboratory, and common methods of research in art and science. Beitiks's exhibition Observations of Final States in Interactions (WaterSteet Studios, Batavia, IL) challenges the conventional division of visceral art practices and rational scientific study by finding a shared subject in neutrinos research at Fermilab. Teichert will discuss the founding director of Fermilab, Robert Wilson, the physicist and sculptor who designed the iconic building and embedded the science campus with a sensibility only visionary artists could provide. Zeller will discuss the deep implications of neutrino research and what physicists use to answer questions about how the universe began.

Eugenia Cheng: SAIC Scientist-in-Residence
Deep Structures: Seeking the Essence of Mathematics

Tuesday, March 10, 4:30 p.m.
SAIC Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and pianist who is currently on sabbatical from her tenured position at the University of Sheffield, UK. Cheng is a strong believer in bringing math to a wider audience and breaking down stereotypes surrounding mathematics. She was an early pioneer of mathematics on YouTube, and her short math videos have now been viewed more than 800,000 times. Her media work includes television and radio interviews with the BBC, Sky New, ABC (Australia), and CBC (Canada). Her first popular math book How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics will be published by Basic Books in 2015.


Conversations on Art and Science:
George Lucas

Wednesday, April 15, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.

This lecture is not open to the public; only SAIC students and faculty with school ID may attend.

Filmmaker George Lucas's devotion to timeless storytelling and cutting-edge innovation has resulted in some of the most successful and beloved films of all time, including the Star Wars saga and the Indiana Jones franchise, while also pioneering new digital standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound and inspiring generations of young people to follow their imagination and dreams. Lucas serves on the board of the Film Foundation and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Advisory Board, and he will build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, emphasizing American illustrative, digital, cinematic, and animation art as an avenue for the exploration of the great storytelling history, populist works, and artistic innovation of the past 150 years.

Past events