Detail: Carl Strüwe, Archetype of Individuality (1933). Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York See full image.


How Science is Pictured in the Media and Public Culture: A Joint Reading the Pictures/Seeing Science (UMBC) Salon

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Online, see registration info below

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.

The Reading the Pictures Salon brings together experts on visual culture to analyze a group of ten news and media photographs in an on-line discussion format. This Salon is being jointly produced with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. It’s a featured component of SEEING SCIENCE, a year-long project that explores the role photography plays in shaping, representing, and furthering the sciences.  This project also involves original photo research which will be featured on Twitter, Instagram and then archived here following the live event.

 The event is free but registration is required. Please register below.

Date: Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Time: 7 pm EST for 2 hours

Where: We will be holding the talk on the Google HangOut platform accommodating live audio and video with involvement from viewers via live chat. Please register below to participate.


Who:  Our distinguished panel includes: Rebecca Adelman UMBC Professor of Media & Communication Studies; Ben de la Cruz, Multimedia Editor, Science Desk, NPR; Marvin Heiferman Curator, Project Director “Seeing Science”; Corey Keller – Curator, SFMOMA; Kurt Mutchler – Senior Editor, Science, Photography Department, National Geographic; and Max Mutchler, Space Telescope Science Institute, Hubble Heritage Project manager. The HangOut will be moderated by University of Maine professor and visual scholar, Nate Stormer.

The images: The panel will analyze the ten key photos in the slideshow below, the pictures carefully culled from thousands of media images across sixteen categories of science. (Fifty more images will also be presented on our Twitter and Instagram feeds in the three weeks leading up to the panel discussion, and then added to this post after the event.)

Photo credit: Daniel Stier, from Ways of Knowing, 2015)

Catonsville High School Students' Seeing Science Visit to NASA Goddard Space Center

November 18, 2016

NASA Goddard Space Flight Facility, Greenbelt, MD

Digital arts and photography students from Catonsville High School in Baltimore County enjoyed a special visit at NASA Goddard Space Flight Facility on Friday, November 18th, lead by Valerie Casasanto of University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Joint Center for Earth Systems & Technology (JCET).  As part of UMBC’s SEEING SCIENCE program, and organized by the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), students toured Goddard’s integration and testing facilities and viewed the cleanroom areas, where ICESat-2 (the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2) and the James Webb Space Telescope are being integrated.

UMBC’s Dr. Chris Shuman, a JCET scientist based at Goddard, talked with students about Antarctica, ice science, and showed images on the NASA Goddard Hyperwall.  The Catonsville students also met with a NASA animator, saw an animated short film about ICESat-2, watched scientific visualizations in an inflatable dome led by Greg Shirah, NASA Scientific Visualizer, and got to experience ICESat-2’s altimeter interactive exhibit to get their heights measured.


September 2016

Lecture Hall 1, UMBC

In September, the SEEING SCIENCE Film Series features movies released in 1966, the year UMBC was founded.

Wednesday, Sept. 14th:     Fastastic Voyage

Wednesday, Sept. 21st:     Farenheit 451

Wednesday, Sept. 28th:    Dalek Invasion Earth 2150

7 to 9 PM.  Free admission.

THE GLASS KNIFE: An installation by Stephen Bradley and Kathy Marmor, based on the Dr. Keith Porter Archive

March 24 – June 30, 2016

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, UMBC

The title of this installation, The Glass Knife, refers to the sharp wedged shaped glass tool used by Dr. Keith Porter to prepare tissue samples. Porter was the chair of the UMBC Biology Department from 1984 to 1988, and one of the first scientists to make images of and study whole cells with the electron microscope. Considered the “Father of Cell Biology,” Porter was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1977. For this project, media artists Bradley and Marmor integrate select elements from Porter’s archive to build a unified series of sculptures that allude to Porter’s workstation and “sees” the cell, its organelles and the technological applications that Porter imagined and developed.

Press release:


October 2016

Lecture Hall 1, UMBC

In October, the SEEING SCIENCE Film Series features movies about mad scientists:

Wednesday, Oct. 12th:     Young Frankenstein, 1974.

Wednesday, Oct. 26th:    The Nutty Professor, 1996

7 to 9 PM.  Free admission.

Seeing Science : Marvin Heiferman and Steel Stillman in conversation.

October 4, 2016

School of Visual Arts, New York

SEEING SCIENCE curator, Marvin Heiferman, and Steel Stillman, artist and contributing editor to Art in America, discuss the genesis, development, and goals of SEEING SCIENCE