Portraiture at the intersection of art, science, and society

“For me, this mission is about making science seen in society,” says Herlinde Koelbl, a famend German picture artist whose portrait collection, “Fascination of Science,” is now on show at MIT. 

Koelbl set herself the aim to {photograph} scientists and to point out their motivation, influences, and methods of pondering — via the eyes of an artist. The portraits juxtapose the topics’ faces with scientific ideas, recommendation, or reflections playfully inscribed on their palms. Individually, every image or phrase speaks to the researcher’s private quest for information — every little thing from nucleotide base pairings and “be taught from failures!” to “make malaria historical past!” and a crusing vessel beset by sea creatures — however collectively, the broad sweep of disciplines and backgrounds represented within the portraits reveals the interconnectedness of the scientific endeavor throughout establishments, geography, and subject material.  

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The MIT venue for Koelbl’s work is the Public Galleries of the Koch Institute for Integrative Most cancers Analysis, a analysis heart that mixes MIT’s wealthy traditions of interdisciplinary inquiry and technological innovation with discovery-based organic analysis to develop new insights, instruments, and applied sciences to combat most cancers.

By means of Koelbl’s lens, MIT’s “thoughts and hand” motto is made seen, together with the range of concepts that gas society’s collective fascination with science. The exhibit contains portraits of MIT scientists Sangeeta Bhatia, Ed Boyden, Sallie “Penny” Chisholm, Wolfgang Ketterle, Robert Langer, and Robert Weinberg, together with different internationally acclaimed scientists equivalent to George Church, Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and 2022 Nobel laureate Carolyn Bertozzi. 

Guests are welcome to view Koelbl’s work on the Koch Institute’s Public Galleries (open to the general public on weekdays 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.) via Jan. 27.  


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