Using art as a medium for the presentation of scientific themes, The Art of Science and Technology Program is both an outreach service to the wider science community and an opportunity to make art an integral part of the everyday work environment of AAAS.



Voyage of Discovery

January 21, 2014- May 31, 2014

The artwork in Voyage of Discovery has its roots in the idea of a journey of scientific exploration, in the tradition of Darwin, Wallace, and the thousands of scientists who constantly travel the globe in search of new findings. This imaginary voyage takes viewers to a polar region where the iconic, seemingly eternal, landscape of ice and snow is in profound and rapid transition due to climate change. The pieces in this show, created by Michele Banks, Jessica Beels and Ellyn Weiss in a wide variety of media, are not strictly based on scientific data. They reflect the artists’ responses to the transformation of land and sea - the melting of glaciers and the thawing of permafrost, the movement of previously unknown species and microbes into the region, the dramatic shift of the color of the land from white to green to black. The artwork takes a broad view of these changes: the artists are deeply aware of the damage done by climate change, yet intrigued by the possibilities of what lies below the ice and snow.


Beauty & the Brain Revealed

28 October 2013 - 3 January 2014

Why do we find some works of art so appealing? The exhibition Beauty and the Brain Revealed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science builds on a 2010 collaboration between the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University and the Walters Art Museum to examine how the brain perceives abstract sculpture. Put on a pair of 3D glasses to explore digitally morphed versions of sculpture and learn how 3D shape characteristics relate to your own aesthetic preferences!

Through the generosity of collectors Drs. Susan and James Weiss, the AAAS Gallery has the very special opportunity to display Conscient de sa beauté (Conscious of her beauty), 1957, a bronze sculpture by Jean (Hans) Arp, against the backdrop of this exciting research, which draws upon Arp’s work.

Special thanks to our Exhibition PI, Dr. Charles “Ed” Connor, Director, Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University; and our Guest Curator, Dr. Gary Vikan, Vikan Consulting LLC, former Director of the Walters Art Museum.

The original project was initiated and funded by the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute.

The Art of Science Policy: 40 years of Science Impacting Policy

15 July -27 September, 2013

Author C.P. Snow famously described a gap between scientists and “literary intellectuals,” igniting a debate over whether the “two cultures” could work in tandem – or even relate to each other – for the improvement of society.   This exhibit will examine a similar dichotomy: can art, especially visual expression, enhance our understanding of the policy dimensions of science?  The practitioners and scholars of the growing field that is generally called “science policy” see their realm both as a science, as well as an art in which experience and judgment are as essential as modeling and analysis. In honor of the 40th Anniversary of AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships, the exhibit hopes to engage scientists and engineers serving in policy roles and policy administrators impacting the conduct of science. Featuring sixteen artists from across the United States, the art of The Art of Science Policy is as diverse as the science policy issues from the past forty years.

Exhibiting Artists: Mia Bromwell, Aliza Waxman, Nancer Lemoins, Ellyn Weiss, Tara Cronin, Michael Glenwood, Ben Grasso, Danny Bowman, Lisa Hiatt, Kyle Warren, Ellen Weinstein, Christopher Locke, Pop-Atomic Studios, Ron Miller, Gwenn Seemel, Mary Edna Fraser, Ryan Murphy, Al Teich, and Samantha Dempsey

With special thanks to: Kavita M. Berger, Sara Spizzirri, Erin Heath, Shirley Malcom, and Al Teich


Michael Benson

March 20th, 2013 – June 28th, 2013

In the span of a single lifetime, a momentous transformation in human consciousness has quietly taken hold: We are beginning to think of our place in the universe not as Earth but as the Solar System. We owe this insight in part to the photographic output of a small squadron of interplanetary spacecraft that is gradually opening our minds to the visual splendor and variety of other worlds. Each of these far-flung machines is following the traditions blazed by the great Earthbound explorers, but when its destination comes into view, we can no longer call that dramatic moment “landfall.” Hence “planetfall”- the moment of arrival at other worlds.

All images processed by Michael Benson from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) raw or calibrated image data.

Malaria: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

March 12th - June 1st, 2012

Conceived by the Malaria Consortium and photographer/curator Adam Nadel, Malaria: Blood, Sweat, and Tears discusses the historical, scientific, and global impact of malaria. The exhibit displays photographs, posters, illustrations, and objects that draw connections between the unseen science behind malaria and the devastating effects its transmission has on personal lives.

Beneath the Surface: Rediscovering a World Worth Conserving

October 31st, 2011- March 2nd, 2012

The American Association for the Advancement of Science presents Beneath the Surface: Rediscovering a World Worth Conserving. Featuring seven artists from across the United States, Beneath the Surface explores the use of art as a medium to advocate for the preservation of one of Earth's most beautifully complex compositions, its oceans. What lies beneath the surface of the sea has always fascinated and frightened man with its mystery. In recent times, this has developed into a tenuous relationship in which the sea has suffered. Beneath the Surface seeks to remind us of the once magically captivating hold the sea has had on our imaginations and encourages us to protect its beauty and bounty.