MSUToday
Published: Oct. 18, 2019

MSU SciComm hosts science, art showcase Oct. 19

Contact(s): Karen King Facility for Rare Isotope Beams office: 517-908-7262 kingk@frib.msu.edu, Kim Ward Communication and Brand Strategy office: (517) 432-0117 cell: (734) 658-4250 kim.ward@cabs.msu.edu

The Michigan State University Science Communication, or SciComm, student organization will host a science-art showcase from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 19. The show will feature YouTube star “Physics Girl” Dianna Cowern. Additional events include a planetarium show, science-art exhibit and a beer release.

Cowern is the creator and host of the viral and PBS-sponsored “Physics Girl” web series. Her series has more than 1.3 million subscribers, and it is a resource for videos and other materials about physics and physics-related topics.

“Communication is a vital skill, especially in research. If no one understands a discovery, it can’t be shared or used. The discussion of ideas is especially crucial at large research institutions like MSU,” said Chelsie Boodoo, MSU SciComm president. “Although many MSU students study science and conduct research in various STEM fields, they may not be familiar with science communication, so the MSU SciComm has decided to change that. 

The science-art showcase will take place at the Facility for Rare Isotope BeamsAbrams Planetariumthe Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the Grid Arcade & Bar

“We believe that art is a universal language and that it can be a wonderful bridge between scientists and the public, so we decided to create a series of events all in one day, focused on science and art,” said Boodoo. 

For a full schedule of events, see below:

  • Visitors can view science and art creations, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., outside of 1300 FRIB Laboratory
  • The public can take a virtual tour of FRIB on the dome and participate in science activities, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., at Abrams Planetarium
  • “Physics Girl” featuring Dianna Cowern, 2 – 4:30 p.m. at the Wharton Center
  • “Beat the Scientist” attendees can win prizes and hear short talks by interviewees from The Sci-Files on Impact 89 FM. A special “Atomic Ale,” brewed by MSU SciComm, The Sci-Files and The Grid with Saugatuck Brewery, will be released at this event, 7 – 10 p.m., at the Grid Arcade & Bar (Attendees must be 21 or older) 

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required for “Physics Girl” featuring Dianna Cowern. Tickets are available here and through the Wharton Center ticket office. The show will also be livestreamed in 1300 FRIB Laboratory in conjunction with the science-art exhibition.

Several sponsors have partnered with MSU SciComm to make the October 19 showcase a reality. The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is sponsoring Physics Girl as part of its Advanced Studies Gateway Saturday Morning Physics series. MSU is establishing FRIB as a new scientific user facility for the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The MSU Broad Art Lab awarded a grant to host sessions for the scientists and artists to make their art pieces. Other partners for this event include ASMSUMSU BEST, and the Council of Graduate Students. The exhibition brings scientists and artists together to create pieces that innovatively express scientific ideas and research, teaching people to communicate science creatively. 

MSU SciComm is a registered student organization forging connections between scientists and MSU students and gives students opportunities to improve their skills in varied forms of speaking, writing, art and policy. The group has hosted workshops on how to communicate with journalists and policymakers and how to write about science for the public. 

To learn more about MSU SciComm, visit the here or contact the organization at MSUSciComm@gmail.com.