Beata Mierzwa


Insights: Science art

Beata is a postdoctoral researcher in the labs of Karen Oegema and Arshad Desai at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and University of California San Diego, where she explores the variation of the cell division machinery in different cell types. After studying Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna, Beata completed her master’s thesis at the

ETH Zürich. During her PhD in Daniel Gerlich’s lab at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Vienna BioCenter, she focused on the final step in cell division, exploring the dynamics of the ESCRT-III machinery that separates the cells during cytokinetic abscission.

Beata made her first science art drawing to depict her own PhD research, and her illustrations quickly developed into a mission to communicate science. She started spending her evenings drawing in addition to her daily experiments in the lab, making artwork for many conferences, journal covers and research groups. She also designs science-inspired clothes printed with drawings and microscopy images. You can find a gallery of her work at www.beatascienceart.com or follow her on social media (@beatascienceart).

 

Communicating Scientific Concepts Through Art

 

Creativity is an integral part of both science and art, and using it to combine these two seemingly different disciplines creates unique and effective ways to communicate scientific information. Along my classical academic career path, I have been exploring the visual aspect of science communication using hand- drawn illustrations and science fashion. My science art aims to convey complex biological concepts using both abstract imagery and real scientific data. Each illustration requires breaking down the essence of complex scientific findings and translating them into aesthetic visuals using metaphors that describe abstract biological processes in intuitive ways. This form of visualization provides a powerful tool to facilitate communication between scientists from diverse fields, spark fascination and curiosity, as well as inspire future scientists. In this talk I will share my journey towards combining science and art, and discuss how cultivating passions outside of the lab creates beautiful and unexpected opportunities with the potential to open up new and creative career paths.