On Monday 11th January, Tim Stevenson OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, launched Science in a new light, an exhibition of science and art taking place at the North Wall Arts Centre in Summertown.
|From left to right, Prof. Thomas Sorensen, Dr Kendall Williams and Mr Tim Stevenson OBE reveal the final design for the World’s largest diffraction pattern, to launch the Science in a new light exhibition at the North Wall Arts Centre throughout January. The final piece will measure 3 metres x 3 metres.|
Alongside Diamond scientist Mr Stevenson unveiled the design for Diamond’s latest science and art initiative, the world’s largest diffraction pattern. This is an innovative textile project which brings science and art together to provide a platform for scientists to explain their research to people of all ages in an engaging and imaginative way. Since its launch in November 2008, the scientifically inspired textile piece has travelled far and wide, successfully gathering over 5,000 stitches from members of the public in the UK, France and the USA. Oxford locals may remember adding a stitch themselves when it appeared at the City’s Science Festival in February last year.
“Having added a silver stitch to the world’s largest diffraction pattern when I visited Diamond earlier last year, I’m delighted to hear that over 5,000 people have now contributed. Those that haven’t yet taken part can still get involved by going online to Diamond’s website and adding a virtual stitch. It is an inspiring project that ought to encourage more people to take an interest in the science taking place within our county.”
Stevenson OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
Members of the public have a final chance to add a stitch to the world’s largest diffraction pattern by going online to take part, but they must hurry! The project is drawing to an end as all the separate elements are brought together to create the final piece. To take part and add a virtual stitch, visit www.diamond.ac.uk/participate
On display during the three-week exhibition at the North Wall will be the stunning Designs for Life collection: 30 textile panels, created as part of an earlier project that tasked members of the Oxfordshire Federation of the Women’s Institute (WI) to produce works of textile art that depict some of the ‘dangerously beautiful’ diseases and viruses that are studied using the intense X-rays created by Diamond. Science in a new light will also include artistic photographs of the inner workings of Diamond and informative posters to explain how the synchrotron operates; along with the work of the facility’s three artists in residence, who spent 12 months interacting with Diamond and its scientists and engineers to be inspired to each create a work of art in their own media – metal sculpture, painting and textile art.
As part of the exhibition, on Monday 18th January local teachers are invited to attend a special, targeted evening that will showcase the educational resources available from the UK’s synchrotron facility and provide inspiring examples of the exciting careers that can follow higher education in science and maths. Participation is free and there are still a number of spaces available so please email email@example.com if you are a teacher and interested in attending.
There are a number of other special events running alongside the exhibition:
WI stitching day – Thursday 14th January. Members of local WIs will be assisting Anne Griffiths, lead artist on the project, in putting together the final parts of the world’s largest diffraction pattern, bringing together the thousands of stitches that have been contributed by the general public world over.
Café des Sciences – Wednesday 20th January. A-level and year 11 students will discuss and debate ‘what makes good science’ after hearing from one of Diamond’s scientists with a few examples of research projects that might apply for time at the synchrotron. The students will be tasked with prioritising the important research that should be undertaken at the UK facility.
BioScience Networking evening – Monday 25th January. Scientists from local pharmaceutical and biotech companies will have the opportunity to hear from Diamond, and Milton Park based Vertex and Evotec, and reconnect with their peers within the life science community. Oxfordshire Bioscience Network (OBN) membership necessary to attend. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Science in a new light runs from January 11th – January 29th and gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm. Admission is free.
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