Science Friday Interviews Laura Splan and Adam Lamson About Sticky Settings and Technological Representations of Biological Worlds

December 23, 2022

Science Friday
A DNA Map You Can Touch—Or Walk Through

Produced by Christie Taylor
Friday, December 23, 2022  

Science Friday’s Christie Taylor interviews Laura Splan & Adam Lamson about their sciart collaboration Sticky Settings, that includes computerized weavings and molecular animations. Sticky Settings was made in collaboration with Adam Lamson, Science Collaborator and theoretical biophysicist at Flatiron Institute, a division of the Simons Foundation. This work was made possible by the Simons Foundation.

”When science involves visualizing the intricate movements of DNA through time and space, examining minutiae like how DNA folds and rearranges itself during cell division, or the relationships between miniscule beads on microscopic strings, the data can get complicated really fast. Which is why biophysicist Adam Lamson is collaborating with artist Laura Splan in a project the two of them call ‘Sticky Settings.’ It’s a kind of an inside joke about the nature of DNA strands, and the kinds of digital transformations that can be applied to data in animation software. But the result of this partnership has been anything but a joke. From giant tapestries that present maps of DNA in colorful, tactile formats, to otherworldly animations set to music, their art invites a non-scientific audience to literally walk into the processes our own cells are undergoing every day. Producer Christie Taylor talks with Splan and Lamson about their partnership, and the natural intersection between an artist’s creativity and a scientist’s. Plus how an artist’s interpretation can bring new insights to difficult data.” READ MORE

Producers & Host

Nahima Ahmed is Science Friday’s Manager of Impact Strategy. She is a researcher who loves to cook curry, discuss identity, and helps the team understand how stories can shape audiences’ access to and interest in science.

Christie Taylor is a producer for Science Friday. Her day involves diligent research, too many phone calls for an introvert, and asking scientists if they have any audio of that narwhal heartbeat.

Ira Flatow is the host and executive producer of Science Friday. His green thumb has revived many an office plant at death’s door.

Listen to the Interview