Catalyst Conversations: What Science Can Learn From Artists

May 25, 2022
Event Types
Talk / Lecture
Public Program
Rainbow colored image with a child's sneaker in the center.

Image: Unfriending the Atom, Dan Borelli and Marco Kaltofen

Bartos Theater, MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames Street, Wiesner Building (Building E15), Cambridge, MA, 02139
Day & Time
Free, but registration required.

Environmental Artist and Activist, Dan Borelli and Civil Engineer and Nuclear Physicist, Marco Kaltofen Ph.D. Moderated by Alberta Chu, Cultural Producer, ASKlabs.

In partnership with Catalyst Conversations, the List Visual Arts Center presents Art, Science, Activism: What Science Can Learn From Artists. Gain insight on the synthesis of compelling narratives that enable the general public to access complex and elusive data. 

Scientific data can be challenging for the public to comprehend. The artist and engineer duo Dan Borelli and Marco Kaltofen provide an alternate way “in”. Each speaker will share about their research and process and together they will discuss their collaboration, the citizen science project Unfriending the Atom. Together, Marco and Dan are Unfriending the Atom, a citizen science project designed to trace and map radioactivity around the world. Artists can contribute to science by inspiring communities to engage and take action for the betterment of society. 

Please join Catalyst Conversations for a stimulating in-person evening of art and science on May 25th.  

About the Speakers

Environmental artist and researcher Dan Borelli has a socially-engaged art practice. His process involves research and learning while engaging the public in his findings. He works to reconnect the human ecology to science through narrative. Dan’s hometown of Ashland, MA has an extraordinarily high rate of cancer. Ashland was the first of 1800 Superfund sites declared hazardous by the U.S. government and Dan’s project Ashland Nyanza explores and articulates many layers of his findings.

Civil engineer and nuclear physicist Marco Kaltofen investigates the world of the very small. His work extracts exotic data from mundane objects. He wields his protocols and GE chart of nucleotides like a detective. Through the investigation of mundane objects sourced from volunteers all over the world, he is able to interpret and generate data that forms a narrative. 

Video recording will be available approximately two weeks after event. 


Catalyst Conversations