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Gillespie to explore interdisciplinary intersections in Oct. 28 talk

October 25, 2013

Gillespie to explore interdisciplinary intersections in Oct. 28 talk


Oct. 25, 2013

“Living Diagonally: Embracing a Career of Art and Science,” a talk on the intersection of art, science, and advocacy, will be presented Monday, Oct. 28, by ecologist and artist Hayley Gillespie. Free and open to the public, the talk begins at 7 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium, Palamountain Hall.

Gillespie earned a Ph.D. in the natural sciences and founded an art gallery/workspace to inspire cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration. In her talk she will explore the ways art, science and advocacy can overlap and complement one another in the lives of modern professionals and citizens. She will cover the navigation of traditional professional expectations in the fields of science and art, identify hubs for cross-disciplinary integration, and demonstrate how quantitative information can be visualized in a fashion that is simultaneously accurate, beautiful, and supportive of exploration by the viewer.  

The talk is sponsored in conjunction with the 2013 Monsters Project.

According to her web site, Gillespie obtained a Ph.D. from the Graduate Program in Ecology, Evolution and Animal Behavior at the University of Texas at Austin. She has always viewed the arts and the sciences as interacting disciplines. Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, she divided her time during the hot summer months between the Kimball and Amon Carter art museums and the herpetarium and aquarium of the Fort Worth Zoo and Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. She earned a B.A. degree in biology, studio art and environmental studies from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.

Now a resident of Austin, Gillespie studies endangered species, creates art that is inspired by her activities as a scientist, and writes about the intersection of art and biology on her blog. She enjoys finding new ways to merge art and the science of biology through writing, multimedia projects and public outreach activities

The public talk kicks off a weeklong residency for Gillespie, who will be on campus through Friday, Nov. 1, and will have an office in Filene during her residency. Throughout that period, she will be available to participate in conversations about the intersection of art/science/advocacy, science literacy, visual exploration and communication of quantitative information, what it is like being “professional hybrid” and dealing with conflicting expectations, how to creatively “pivot,” and her experiences jumpstarting a non-traditional gallery, among other topics.

Josh Ness, associate professor of biology and a member of the environmental studies faculty who arranged Gillespie’s visit, said, “Our hope is that many will find her inspiring, knowledgeable about a discipline we are unfamiliar with, and that she can help us discover unexpected opportunities for collaboration.”


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