Bradley Higginson

Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Basel

I am Bradley Higginson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Basel in the group of Professor Ward. Originally from Britain, I completed my PhD in Spain on photoredox catalysis before moving to Basel for this position. My personal interests span multiple disciplines but cluster around the human experience. On the other hand, my research is more clearly defined, focusing on the incorporation of transition metal catalysts into protein scaffolds. This enables us to bring valuable synthetic reactions into the natural world and develop green, sustainable routes to fine chemicals.

The research blends two previously distinct fields of catalysis to create a new interdisciplinary area of research for the development of ideas, tools, and methods. This interdisciplinarity is one of the key drivers for originality and asks questions on how to foster dialogue between broadly grouped people, in this instance, chemists and biologists. The idea of “interdisciplinarity” is also being explored across the art world, as boundaries begin to break down questions arise like, “what is the role of a theatre, a cinema, or a gallery?” and provide us with a platform to examine our biases and rethink or reform our structures. As boundaries are broken, we can more easily reflect and take the benefits from each.

This blending of previously distinct topics is especially needed between Art and Science and is exactly what BaseCamp provides. At the intersection of Art and Science, when these marked lines are blurred, what comes next? I am attending the festival with an open mind, without defined objectives or goals, only to experience, communicate, and exchange ideas on how we shape the narrative surrounding the themes of this year’s BaseCamp, “Future of Survival”. To get the best of this experience I think preconceptions should be abandoned and the individualistic attitude of “what can I get out of this?” should take a back seat.  I am eager to see what we can achieve during this week and then ultimately what comes after.