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Art of Magnetism

The FWF-funded science communication project “The Art of Magnetism” brought the exciting and cutting-edge research on dipolar soft matter of Dr. Kantorovich's FWF START project "Bridging Scales in Dipolar Soft Matter" to a wider audience.

Art of Magnetism

The FWF-funded science communication project “The Art of Magnetism” brought the exciting and cutting-edge research on dipolar soft matter of Dr. Kantorovich's FWF START project "Bridging Scales in Dipolar Soft Matter" to a wider audience. The “Art of Magnetism” took advantage of Vienna's cultural and artistic traditions to make the soft matter research more visible and accessible through exhibitions, workshops and public lectures organised in collaboration with artists.

As part of the project “The Art of Magnetism” – funded by the FWF Science Communication Programme –, Sofia Kantorovich and her research team organised a series of events: public lectures and workshops for children and young adults, exhibitions for a mixed audience, and educational events for adults. The researchers sparked curiosity about magnetic materials and scientific approaches in various groups of different age, gender, nationality and educational background following an interdisciplinary concept. In a collaboration with international artists the scientific content of the Dr. Kantorovich’s START project was presented in a visually appealing and eye-catching way. Additionally, the presence of artists who –as the attendees at the public lectures and workshops themselves- were non-specialists in computational physics facilitated the dialogue between lay people and scientists. 

Participation in various exhibitions e.g. in the Natural History Museum Vienna allowed the research of the Kantorovich group to reach a different level of visibility. With the help of artists, ferrofluid samples were converted to interactive artworks which were presented e.g. at the Nocturne of the Ecsite Annual Conference 2016. Thus, the visitors could learn about magnetic soft materials in an engaging haptic-visual experience and experience and accept academic endeavours as an important part of modern society. Additionally, the team led by Sofia Kantorovich aimed at showing that science is cosmopolitan and gender- independent, as the group involved was very international and included a lot of female scientists and even their children. 

The third category of events had a different emphasis; it was to explain the importance of computational physics and the contribution of soft matter research to everyday life, medicine, pharmacology and food production. Also in the context of very tangible potential applications of research on dipolar soft matter, the collaboration with artists served yet again to impressively improve the communication means with a broader audience. Here we actively used 3D screen to visualise colloidal trajectories. 

“Impressions from the activities of the project “The Art of Magnetism” can be found on the project’s website: https://artofmagnetism.wordpress.com/” We will keep collaborating with the artists and welcome everybody who wants to join us in bringing science closer to everyday life.

Fakultät für Physik
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