Nobel Laureates Get Playful At Sketches Of Science Exhibition

“Playfulness is an absolute key component for real discovery,” said Nobel Laureate Sir Tim Hunt at a new exhibition that showcases ingenious sketches by 50 Laureates.

AsianScientist (Sep. 17, 2013) – It is evident that Nobel Laureates have made groundbreaking scientific discoveries. But toss them some colorful crayons and a drawing block, and they turn into artists as well!

And that is what ‘Sketches of Science’ is about. The exhibition takes the complex discoveries made by these Laureates and adds a creative element that expresses well on paper.

Launched yesterday at the Science Center Singapore, the international travelling exhibition from the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and Nobel Museum showcases ingenious sketches by 50 scientific Nobel Laureates based on their research work.

“People are often curious about what is in the heads of Nobel Laureates,” said Prof. Lim Tit Meng, CEO of Science Center Singapore.

During his opening speech, Prof. Lim mentioned that each sketch holds a fascinating story, and that the Nobel Laureates are after all human beings with an artistic and expressive side to them.

All this brilliance would not be captured if it weren’t for award-winning German photographer, Volker Steger. Nobel Laureates shown into his studio faced a surprise when they were asked to illustrate their discoveries on paper using thick crayons and colored pens, similar to what children use for art class in elementary school.

Nobel Laureates are often seen as scientists working in a lab, and Steger wanted to break loose from that perception. The uniform white studio backdrop becomes the stage for an interactive session of portraiture and science communication, he explained.

“Nobel Laureates are the people behind scientific discoveries; that is why they are interesting and therefore, that should be present in the portrait,” said Steger.

After designing their sketches, the scientists were asked to pose with them, which made it more fun and engaging. There were all kinds of innovative poses with the sketches, from sitting on, lifting up, and wrapping the sketch around themselves.

Suddenly, it wasn’t simply just about science. The Laureates, together with Steger, had created images that would intrigue the minds of youth around the world, who could more easily learn about the scientific discoveries from simplified sketches.

“If you meet Nobel Laureates, they are really fun and interesting people like Tim Hunt,” Dr. Burkhard Fricke, vice president of the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, told Asian Scientist Magazine. “We gave them a crayon, something they don’t normally use and told them to draw their discoveries in under ten minutes.”

When asked about his breakthrough discovery of the key cell cycle regulators and his thoughts on the sketch and photo session, Nobel Laureate Sir Tim Hunt responded:

“Playfulness is an absolute key component for real discovery.”


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Kavitha received a BA in journalism and mass communication from the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University in the US.

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