Art of Molecule

A saloon linking art and science

  • A round table discussion introduced the cooperation between this NCCR and the argovia philharmonic. The talk moderated by Ralf Stutzki (center) included (from left) Thomas R. Ward (Direktor NCCR), Martina Huggel (Museum Aargau), Dame Evelyn Glennie (musician) and Christian Weidmann (argovia philharmonic).
    A round table discussion introduced the cooperation between this NCCR and the argovia philharmonic. The talk moderated by Ralf Stutzki (center) included (from left) Thomas R. Ward (Direktor NCCR), Martina Huggel (Museum Aargau), Dame Evelyn Glennie (musician) and Christian Weidmann (argovia philharmonic).
  • Posters designed by young scientist from this NCCR and artists from the "Zürcher Hochsule der Künste" (ZHdK) were shown to the audience of the concert by the argovia philharmonic on 23 October 2016.
    Posters designed by young scientist from this NCCR and artists from the "Zürcher Hochsule der Künste" (ZHdK) were shown to the audience of the concert by the argovia philharmonic on 23 October 2016.
  • Posters designed by young scientist from this NCCR and artists from the "Zürcher Hochsule der Künste" (ZHdK) were shown to the audience of the concert by the argovia philharmonic on 23 October 2016.
    Posters designed by young scientist from this NCCR and artists from the "Zürcher Hochsule der Künste" (ZHdK) were shown to the audience of the concert by the argovia philharmonic on 23 October 2016.
  • Russian artist Maria Pomiansky, a ZHdK graduate, is painting, sketching and drawing at the NCCR labs.
    Russian artist Maria Pomiansky, a ZHdK graduate, is painting, sketching and drawing at the NCCR labs.
  • Ein Team des NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering besucht die Ateliers der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK).
    Ein Team des NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering besucht die Ateliers der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK).
  • Art of Molecule Brainstorming. NCCR Fellow Retreat, Magglingen 2015.
    Art of Molecule Brainstorming. NCCR Fellow Retreat, Magglingen 2015.
  • Studierende der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) besuchen die Forschungslabore des NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering in Basel.
    Studierende der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) besuchen die Forschungslabore des NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering in Basel.

Molecular synthetic ‘factories’ with the complexity of a cell, 100,000 times smaller than a hair, sufficiently strong and precisely programmed to revolutionize diagnostic tools and therapeutic options: this is what the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Molecular Systems Engineering is concerned with.

Without question, wide-reaching, lifestyle-changing incisions of this type, and the paradigm change they would invoke, require the consent of a society that has been sufficiently informed through a prior interactive, ethically conducted debate. Latest studies (Allensbach/Leopoldina 2015) show, however, that a large majority of the population is neither familiar with the terminology nor with the subject matter of Synthetic Biology, which along with other disciplines such as chemistry and physics plays an important role in this NCCR. But how can a discussion be conducted if science on the one hand, and the non-scientific, interested general public on the other, do not speak the same language? A serious ethical debate can only take place if (absolutelyall interested parties are in the position to participate. Ways now have to be found to bridge the communication gap and make this possible. One solution is to use the mutual language of art. 

With ‘Art of Molecule’, Ethics for this NCCR provides a communications module by means of which an important group of society – artists and those interested in the arts - can question, analyze, criticize, interpret and ultimately help to shape, the development of molecular factories. At present, the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering is both actively seeking specific collaborations with artists from all creative fields and open to collaboration requests. The first collaborations with, for example, students of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and with argovia philharmonic, are already taking place now and demonstrate the enormous potential of this exchange. 

More about "Klang der Moleküle" (in German), ein interdisziplinärer Austausch mit Wissenschaft und Kunst.

Poster show

On the occasion of the beginning of the cooperation with argovia philharmonic, posters designed by young scientists from this NCCR and from the "Zürcher Hochschule der Künste" (ZHdK) were shown. You can see them here.

Contact for Art of Molecule

Ralf Stutzki, Head Ethics

More about Ethics in the NCCR Molecular Systems Engineering

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