If photography was invented so that the sciences could communicate with each other, now it’s as much about making that investigation relevant to consumers, investors and alternately curious, fearful or enthralled citizens. This discussion is interested in science as a social agenda and a media phenomenon. It’s about the popularization of science, the attitude and approach on the part of science toward its own activities and what the general public sees of it.
On December 1st, 2016, the
Reading the Pictures Salon brought together seven experts, drawn from the ranks of curators, photo editors, visual scholars and scientists, to analyze a group of ten news and media photographs. The live discussion took place on the Google HangOut platform accommodating live audio and video with viewer participation via live chat. The Salon was jointly produced with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as part of SEEING SCIENCE, a year-long UMBC project that explores the role photography plays in shaping, representing, and furthering the sciences.
Through original photo research, Reading the Pictures and UMBC identified ten key images representing science in the media for the panel discussion. Fifty more media images, drawn from sixteen categories of science, were featured on Twitter and Instagram in the six weeks leading up to the live event. Those images and descriptions, along with video highlights from the two hour panel discussion, will be archived here in the coming weeks.
Panelists: Rebecca Adelman, UMBC Professor of Media & Communication Studies; Nathan Stormer (Moderator), University of Maine professor and visual scholar; Michael Shaw, publisher, Reading the Pictures; Max Mutchler, Space Telescope Science Institute, Hubble Heritage Project manager; Marvin Heiferman Curator, Project Director “Seeing Science”; Kurt Mutchler, Senior Editor, Science, Photography Department, National Geographic; Corey Keller, Curator, SFMOMA; and Ben de la Cruz, Multimedia Editor, Science Desk, NPR.
The Seeing Science salon was produced by Sandra Roa and co-curated by Marvin Heiferman and Meg Handler with writing by Edward Brydon.
Panel Discussion Highlights
Seeing Science: The CERN Hadron Collider
In this highlight clip, panelist Kurt Mutchler, National Geographic science editor, speaks with Rebecca Adelman, UMBC associate professor, Marvin Heiferman, Seeing Science project director, Ben de la Cruz, NPR science editor, Corey Keller, SFMOM curator, and Max Mutchler of the Hubble Heritage Project discuss the CMS detector photograph. The comments explore the colorful, abstract and intricate depiction of a very large scale scientific project. Issues of scale and complexity complicates direct understanding the science involved.
Seeing Science: Pillars of Creation
In this highlight clip, panelists Max Mutchler of the Hubble Heritage Project, Kurt Mutchler, National Geographic science editor, Marvin Heiferman, Seeing Science project director, and Ben de la Cruz, NPR science editor, discuss the visual, scientific and artistic aspects of the most recent version of the famous Pillars of Creation image.
Seeing Science: Woman of NASA
In this highlight clip, moderator Nathan Stormer, visual scholar, and panelists Marvin Heiferman, Seeing Science project director, and Rebecca Adelman, UMBC associate professor, Corey Keller, SFMOM curator, and Ben de la Cruz, NPR science editor explore the composition, balance and postures of the women of NASA.
Seeing Science: Facial Recognition
In this highlight clip, panelist Corey Keller, SFMOM curator, speaks with Kurt Mutchler, National Geographic science editor, Marvin Heiferman, Seeing Science project director, Ben de la Cruz, NPR science editor, and Nate Stormer, Salon moderator and visual scholar, explore two images which both attempt to categorize facial features.
CMS Detector: Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment is one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors built on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Switzerland. The CMS detector is capable of studying many aspects of proton collisions.
Photo: Enrico Sacchetti.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation. This image shows the pillars as seen in visible light, capturing the multi-coloured glow of gas clouds, wispy tendrils of dark cosmic dust, and the rust-coloured elephants’ trunks of the nebula’s famous pillars. The dust and gas in the pillars is seared by the intense radiation from young stars and eroded by strong winds from massive nearby stars. With these new images comes better contrast and a clearer view for astronomers to study how the structure of the pillars is changing over time. 2015.
Photo: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team.
Many scientists believe that modifying human embryos in this way crosses an ethical line.
Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images.
Four extraordinary women make up half of NASA’s most recent astronaut class—and they may go to Mars.
Photo: Todd Spoth for The Houstonia.
Left: Summary Chart of Physical Traits for the Study or the ‘Portrait Parlé.
Photo: Alphonse Bertillon. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (1909). Right: A selection of photos is mapped with grid points by facial recognition software. Photo: Steger photo/Getty Images.
Visitors attend a demonstration of a robot named ‘Pepper’ at the IBM stand on day 3 of the Mobile World Congress 2016 on February 24, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. The annual Mobile World Congress hosts some of the world’s largest communications companies, with many unveiling their latest phones and wearables gadgets.
Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images.
Toxic algae bloom crisis hits Florida, drives away tourists.
Photo: Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post/Associated Press.
Jackeline, 26, holds her son who is 4-months old and born with microcephaly, in front of their house in Olinda, near Recife, Brazil, February 11, 2016.
Photo: Nacho Doce/REUTERS.
US President Barack Obama reacts as 14-year-old Joey Hudy of Phoenix, Arizona, launches a marshmallow from Hudy’s ‘Extreme Marshmallow Cannon’ during a tour of the White House Science Fair in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 7, 2012.
Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP – Getty Images.
On July 1st, after months of running limited “beta testing,” The Void is opening its first public attraction: a Ghostbusters-themed experience in New York City’s Times Square, located inside the Madame Tussauds wax museum. For $50, visitors can strap on a VR headset and a backpack computer fashioned into a Ghostbusters proton pack, pick up a matching gun-shaped plastic prop, and act out a cinematic fantasy in real life.
Photo: James Bareham for The Verge.