Science and Art

Science shows us what is possible - Art inspires us to do what is possible 

©Lisa Alisa | Shutterstock

©Lisa Alisa | Shutterstock

As an interdisciplinary institute, IIASA researchers are used to working across disciplinary boundaries. As a policy-focused research center, IIASA is regularly in contact with policymakers and stakeholders. Yet it is rare even in an institute like IIASA to reach outside the walls of science and policy into other areas of society like the arts, even though much could be gained from such interactions.

Based on the realisation that science needs a new kind of language to reach people and help them internalise the concept of sustainability, the IIASA Science & Art initiative has developed a method to create research projects involving artists and scientists with the objective to transmit key scientific findings to society and internalise sustainable thinking. The resulting productions aim to drive sustainable transformation of the way people think and act through active learning and experience.

For instance, we have created stories based on facts about climate change, so people can make sense of them. We have turned theories such as the mechanisms of cooperation into choreography on stage, so people can see them in action. We have  turned data, such as temperature rise into music, so people can hear and feel it. We have also grappled with ethical dilemmas created through new knowledge such as population growth and migration by turning them into physical theatre games and involving the audience in the solution finding process.

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Systems analysis is a problem-solving process that seeks to understand individual elements, and how they might interact, while accounting for the system as a whole. This brochure explores the role art can play in this process, and how it might contribute to a global transformation to sustainability.

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18.09 Dancing with the Future

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Last edited: 27 February 2019


Gloria Benedikt

Project Leader Science and Art

Exploratory and Special Projects

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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313