Public Release: 

Scientists and artists to search for common ground

University of York

They may be disciplines at opposite ends of the intellectual spectrum, but science and art will converge at the University of York next month in a quest to discover common ground.

Practitioners from across the world will gather on 5 September 2005 for a three-day conference, hosted by the University, to explore the relationship between science and art and the mutual support artists and scientists can offer within a wider cultural environment.

Rules of Engagement is organised by Arts Council England, Yorkshire in partnership with CNAP, a bioscience research centre at the University of York with additional support from Science City York.

The event - a crucible of talks, events, performances and debate -will pose provocative questions, such as:

  • When artists are natural transgressors and scientists trained to be cautious, are there risks as well as benefits?
  • Do artists have any responsibility towards scientific data, how it is manipulated and presented?
  • In its interplay with science, is art contributing to knowledge, creating meaning or trying to change the world?
  • In this collision of politics, ethics and imagination -spanning ecology, bioscience and deep space - what are the Rules of Engagement?

Head of CNAP, Professor Dianna Bowles said: "We are very pleased to be in partnership with the Arts Council England, Yorkshire and to be hosting this exciting event in York. It is fascinating to explore the ideas arising from the exchanges between science and art, and this conference will benefit CNAP and indeed wider communities in the university sector by giving us insights to the ways in which science can be communicated to many different audiences."

Manager of Science City York, Anna Rooke, said: "We are thrilled that this national conference is taking place in York. It really embodies what Science City York is all about - bringing people together from both creative and science worlds, to learn from each other, challenge traditional thinking and stimulate new opportunities and discoveries. It is particularly relevant because creative technology is the fastest growing area of York's technology base, employing more than 1,000 people in heritage, arts and creative technology enterprises across the City."

Speakers and participants at the conference will include:

  • Oron Catts from the Australian art and biological technologies research lab SymbioticA
  • Dr Lloyd Anderson, Director of Science at the British Council
  • Cape Farewell, led by David Buckland, who bring together scientists, educationalists and artists to raise awareness about climate change
  • artist Andrew Stones whose major work Atlas was filmed at CERN, the world's largest physics laboratory
  • Lucy Kimbell, who will give her performance lecture One Night With Rats in the Service of Art
  • Sheffield-based Lizz Tuckerman, who is also a research scientist, will create newly commissioned artwork for the conference venue
  • American bioartist Adam Zaretsky, a leading practitioner in VivoArts

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For full details of the conference see www.rulesofengagement.co.uk

Notes for editors:

  • Arts Council England, Yorkshire is the region's funding and development agency for the arts distributing public money from Government and the National Lottery.
  • CNAP is a bioscience research centre in the Department of Biology at the University of York. Its aim is to realise the potential of plant- and microbial-based renewable resources through gene discovery.
  • Details of other speakers are available at www.rulesofengagement.co.uk
  • More information from Tamsin Curror or Diane Horton, Communications Department 0192-448-6238 or 0192-448-6241. Email: tamsin.curror@artscouncil.org.uk or diane.horton@artscouncil.org.uk

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