How Art Can Help Science Break Through

Not everyone appreciates the power that science has on our everyday lives. Breakthroughs are being made all the time but few people really hear about it or appreciate the true benefits.
Enter ‘The Leading Strand,’ a TED-backed multidisciplinary initiative founded by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya.
A neuroscientist turned art director, Phingbodhipakkiya created her own company to ‘matchmake’ designers to scientists. Her start-up seeks to combat stereotypes and bring the worlds of science and design together in order to deepen both halves. The designers create visual representations of key scientific research that would otherwise be too complex for the general public to process. This is about bringing to life the noble and complex work that scientists do on a daily basis and illustrating just how pivotal their work is to our own world.

As ‘The Leading Strange’ website states, more than half of AAAS scientists in a 2014 poll said that now was “a bad time for science.” Scientists have been turning more and more towards means other than scientific journals to capture the imaginations of the public, from fictionalising projects in books to multi-media art projects. With ‘The Leading Strange’ Phingbodhipakkiya hopes to fight the rise of “budget cuts, media misrepresentation, and public apathy.”
Just to give you an idea of what these projects might look like, this unique project (below) entitled Distance From Home was created by multidisciplinary designer Brian Foo about eleven months ago and presents nearly forty years of migrant data using music and visualisations.

At a time when science is so reliant on the media to generate popularity in order to gain funding, interdisciplinary projects such as these will help enable people a further appreciation for the work scientists do the world over.