MSUToday
Published: April 26, 2018

Award-winning global science series launches in Detroit, East Lansing

Contact(s): Caroline Brooks Communications and Brand Strategy office: 517-432-0920 caroline.brooks@cabs.msu.edu, Teal Amthor-Shaffer office: (517) 353-1964 amthorsh@msu.edu

Science Gallery Lab Detroit, the first installment in the Americas of the global initiative that fuses art and science, will bring its Detroit-based Intersection series to East Lansing on May 1.

The one-night event is free and open to the public. The Intersection introduces connections between art and science that will be explored more deeply in Science Gallery Lab Detroit’s inaugural exhibition, which opens June 16 and was developed in partnership with Michigan State University and Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, or MSUFCU.

Part gallery, part science lab and part theater, Science Gallery Lab Detroit engages 15-to-25-year-olds with experiential research and ideas from the worlds of art, science, design and technology. By having hands-on experiences with the exhibits, Science Gallery Lab Detroit participants see firsthand how ideas emerge when different disciplines collaborate. The pioneering Science Gallery was developed at Trinity College Dublin in 2008, and the global network has since hosted more than 2.5 million visitors around the world.

The Intersection series, launched with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2017, pairs artists and scientists to discuss how their respective fields influence each other.

MSUFCU committed $1 million to help fund Science Gallery Lab Detroit and bring several events to the East Lansing community over the next five years.

The upcoming East Lansing program features two influential scientists, Beronda Montgomery, MSU Foundation professor, and Tonya Matthews, director and CEO of the Michigan Science Center. It will be moderated by MSUFCU President and CEO April Clobes.

“Both speakers will talk about personal experiences as to how art and science influence their work,” said Mark Sullivan, assistant director of Science Gallery Lab Detroit. “We’ve hosted two successful interactive Intersection events with Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Matthews in Detroit, which gave us the opportunity to recreate the engagement for the East Lansing community.”

Montgomery, a professor in biochemistry and molecular biology, investigates how organisms with limited mobility, like plants, adjust to changes in their external environment. In addition to her core research and teaching efforts, Montgomery is dedicated to promoting research, mentoring, management and inclusion for underrepresented groups in the sciences.

Prior to Michigan Science Center, or MiSci, Matthews’ career spanned academic and professional work as a scientist, educator, community volunteer and award-winning writer. During Matthews’ tenure, MiSci has become a STEM hub for greater Detroit and the state of Michigan and a central part of the critical work in science education and career preparation.

Clobes, an MSU alumna, joined MSUFCU in 1996 and was named president and CEO in 2015. Clobes is an active leader on several community and university boards and was named a Top Woman to Watch by the Credit Union Times in 2013. She is actively involved at her alma mater, serving on the Broad College of Business’ alumni advisory board, as a mentor to students and speaking to MSU classes and student groups.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the MSUFCU Headquarters Building at 3777 West Road, East Lansing, Mich. The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested but not required and can be sent to Caroline Van Houten at (517) 333-2424 ext. 2348 or cvanhout@msufcu.org.

The next Detroit-based discussion occurs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on May 24. For more information on The Intersection and for videos of past events, visit MOCAD’s website.

For information about Science Gallery Lab Detroit, please visit SGLD’s website.

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