Molecules, Mutations, and Space for Making at the Science Shop - La Ruche d'Art

The Science Shop is Art Hives Network’s new initiative in collaboration with Vanier College and Concordia’s office of the VP, graduate and research department. The aim of these public science events is engage the community in public conversations about the intersection between science and creativity. Taking place in the community art studio La Ruche d’Art, a life sized cabinet of curiosities packed with art supplies, a multitude of art made by community members and a whole host of odds and ends, one may think it an odd place to be discussing molecules and mutations, among others. But listening to scientists describe big ideas in chemistry, biology and physics while surrounded by such creative energy imparts a sense of curiosity and wonder into the concepts that many (especially with an artistic inclination) may have failed to experience in their high school science classes. With engaging and relevant topics, the science educators from Vanier college describe important and digestible concepts that not only inspire awe, but illuminate every-day experiences that may have once seemed a mystery, or simply mundane. The most recent Science Shop, given by Edward Awad, a biology instructor, spoke about cultural and biological origins of lactose tolerance as well as antibacterial resistance and bitterness sensitivity with interactive demonstrations evoking laughter and playfulness from participants. By far the most lively aspect of these talks are the open conversations that go one between participants and presenters, fielding their questions not only to the ‘expert’ but to the community, resulting in a participatory and inclusive dialogue that invites the sharing of multiple perspectives and experiences. As this pilot project forms, the interweaving of art-based activities will increase to add another layer of discovery onto the already dynamic concepts being presented. The participants, organizers and presenter all brainstorm ideas of how to incorporate creative activities, including making response art to the concepts both before and after the presentations and having an ongoing communal drawing during the talks to visually represent and take note of new ideas. This type of inclusiveness and creativity helps subvert passive learning and invites all participants to tap into that wonder and curiosity about the natural world that we may have lost somewhere along the way. Join us for out next Science Shop “Space Elevators, the Future of Going up”, November 4th at 6pm at La Ruche d’Art (4525 St Jacques, Montreal QC).

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