Resources for Researchers

Here you will find a  list of resources relating to engagements between various arts and science disciplines.   This resource was created by Shaun May in 2014.

The main focus of this resource list is on research emerging from within arts disciplines (broadly speaking, performance, visual arts and music) and from interdisciplinary engagements between these and science disciplines. Integrated into these sections are publications from the overlapping and bordering disciplines of applied arts, science humanities (particularly medical humanities) and science communication – more of these will be added in due course.

Overview: research groups and funding

The past decade has seen the establishment of a number of UK University-based research centres, networks and projects engaged with various aspects of science-art collaboration, for example: Drawbots (2005-2008), Imagining Autism (2003-2011), Watching Dance,and Performance, Science and Community at University of Exeter,  Art: Science and Technology at Central St Martins, Cognition, Kinaesthetics and Performance at Kent and Performance, Science and Creativity.  A number of these are supported by the AHRC research theme of Science in Culture.

The growing discipline of science humanities (including the prominent area of medical humanities and that of the philosophy of science) will occasionally look at applied and commercial arts practices.  There are a number of research centres in the UK and in the US, including: Association of Medical Humanities (see below for their journal, and here for their blog) and the Centre for Humanities and Health at King’s College, and the Centre of Humanities and Health Sciences in California.

Research interest in science-art collaboration appears to be at least as strong in the USA where, for example, you can study a PhD in Art-Science (see here) or a degree in Medical Humanities and the Arts (see here). There are a number of substantial research projects in the USA, including:.ArtScience, Scientists/Artists Research CollaborationsArt & Science Laboratory and the Literature, Arts and Medicine Blog. This project from Australia indicates that there is interest there too.


Leonardo: The Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology. Founded in 1968, with an emphasis on artists who use science and emerging technologies in their artwork. Online here.

Leonardo Music Journal.Founded in 1991 as a companion to Leonardo, focusing on music practices that engage with science and technology. Online here. 

Interdisciplinary Science Reviews.Founded in 1976, ISR has published a number of articles on science and the arts. In 2002, Vol. 27.3 was a special issue on ‘Science and Theatre’, with two more special issues on that theme due in December 2013 (38.4) and September 2014 (29.3). These issues will be guest edited by Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (Oxford) and Carina Bartleet (Oxford Brookes).  All issues are available online here.

The International Journal of Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice, available here. A Canadian journal for medical and healthcare practitioners and educators employing creative arts practices in related research, training and educational contexts. Some discussion on performance, for example here.

The Journal of Medical Humanities, available here. This includes some article on arts in relation to healthcare, public health awareness and medical education, including this one of theatre in medical training. This is the journal of the Association of Medical Humanities, based at Glasgow University.

Public Understanding of Science. This includes some articles on the representation of science and scientists in the arts and media and about collaborations between scientists and arts practitioners, notably this one by Chimera network member Emma Weitkamp. Available online here.

Books and Articles

Science and Performance

Ball, P. (2002) ‘Beyond Words: Science and Visual Theatre’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 27(169), pp.169-172. (Freely available here)

Bayes, H. (2011) ‘Stage Chemistry: The Marriage of Science and Theatre Is Going Strong’, The Guardian Theatre Blog. (Posted 09.03.11, online here)

Birringer, J. (2008) Performance, Technology and Science. PAJ Publications

Birringer, J.(2007) ‘Performance and Science’, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. 85: 29 (1), 22- 35

Brodzinski, E. (2010) Theatre in Health and Care. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan

Campos, L. (2007) ‘Searching for Resonance: Scientific Patterns in Complicite’sMnemonicand A Disappearing Number’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 32(4), pp.326-334

Campos, L. & Shepherd-Barr, K. (2006) ‘Science and Theatre in Open Dialogue: Biblioetica, Las Cas de Sophie K and the Postdramatic Science Play’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 31(3), pp. 245-253.

Dowell, E. & Weitkamp, E. (2011) ‘An Exploration of the Collaborative Processes of Making Theatre Inspired By Science’, The Public Understanding of Science.21(7), pp.891-901

Djerassi, C. (2007) ‘When is ‘Science on Stage’ Really Science?’,American Theater. 24(1), pp.96-103.(Freely available here).

Djerassi, C. (2002) ‘Contemporary ‘Science-in-Theatre’: A Rare Genre’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 27(3), pp.193-201. (An extended version is freely available here).

Djerassi’s other publications, including several science plays, listed here.

Frazzeto, G. (2002) ‘Science on the Stage’, EMBO Reports.3(9), pp.818-820

Gargano, C. (1998) ‘Complex Theatre: Science and Myth in Three Contemporary Performances’, New Theatre Quarterly. 14(54), pp.151-158

Johnson, P (2012) Quantum Theatre: Science and Contemporary Performance, Newcastle: CSP

Hye, A (1996) The Moral Dilemma of the Scientist in Modern Drama. Ceridigion: Edwin Mellen Press

Kirby, D. (2003) ‘Scientists on the Set: Science Consultants and the Communication of Science in Visual Culture’, Public Understanding of Science. 12(3), pp.261-278.

Kupfermann, J. (2004) ‘Science in Theater’, Physica Plus: The Online Magazine of the Israel Science Society. (Available here)

Samuels, D. ‘Eye of the Storm’ (1998) The Guardian. Available online here

Shaughnessy, N (2013) Affective Performance and Cognitive Science: Body, Brain and Being. Details forthcoming.

Shepherd-Barr, K. (2006) Science on Stage: From Doctor Faustus to Copenhagen. Princeton University Press.

Shepherd-Barr, K. (2003) ‘From Copenhagen to Infinity and Beyond: Science Meets Literature on Stage’, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 28(3), pp.193-199

Shepherd-Barr, K. (2002) ‘Copenhagen and Beyond: The “Rich and Mentally Nourishing” Interplay of Science and Theatre’, Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism. Vol. 10. (Available here).

Soloski, A. (2010) ‘Why Does Theatre Plus Science Equal Poor Plays?’,The Guardian Theatre Blog. (Posted 26.06.10, online here)

Triscott, N. (2012) ‘Performance, Theatre, Science’ Blog entry available here.

Zehelein, E. (2010) ‘Staging It: Bridging the Two Cultures? Mick Gordon, Paul Broks: On Ego’, Language and the Scientific Imagination : Proceedings of the 11th Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI). (Online here)

Zehelein, E. (2009) Science: Dramatic: Science Plays in America and Great Britain, 1990-2007. Universitätsverlag Winter. Review here

Zehelein, E. (2008) ‘Carl Djerassi’s Seed’, Critical Survey. 20(1), pp.56-67

Science and Visual Art/ the arts generally

Arends, B. & Thackara, D. (1999) (eds) Experiment: Conversations in Art and Science. Wellcome Trust.

Bates, V. , Bleakly, A & Goodman, S (2013) Medicine, Health and the Arts. London & New York: Routledge. Contains a chapters on Visual Arts, Literature and Writing, Performance and Music.

Blansfield, K. (2003) ‘Atom and Eve: The Mating of the Science and Humanism’, South Atlantic Review, 68(4), pp.1-16

Ede, S. (2005) Art and Science.L. B. Taurus.

Ede, S. (2000) Strange and Charmed: Science and the Contemporary Visual Arts. CalousteGulbenkian Foundation.

Glinkowski, P. & Bamford, A (2009) Insight and Exchange: An Evaluation of the Wellcome Trust’s SciArt Programme. Wellcome Trust. (Available here)

Jeffries, S (2011) ‘When Two Tribes Meet: Collaborations between Artists and Scientists’ The Guardian 21.08.11. Available here

Lightman, A. (2003) ‘Art That Transfigures Science’, New York Times.(Posted online 15.03.2003, available here)

Nicholson, H, Levinson, R & Parry, S (eds) (2008), Creative Encounters: New Conversations in Science, Education and the Arts.The Wellcome Trust, London. Available here

Pollier-Green, P., Van de Velde, A. & Pollier, C. (2009) (eds.) Confronting Mortality with Science and Art. VUB University Press.

Wilson, S. (2010) Art and Science Now: How Scientific Research and Technological Innovation Are Becoming Key to 21st Century Aesthetics. Thames & Hudson Press.

 Science and Music

Arslan, B., Brouse, A., Castet, J., Filatriau, J.J., Lehembre, R., Noirhomme, Q., Simon, C. (2005) ‘From Biological Signals to Music’. Proceedings of ENACTIVE05, 2nd International Conference on Enactive Interfaces.

Dahlstedt, P. (2009) ‘Thoughts on Creative Evolution: A Meta-generative Approach to Composition’, Contemporary Music Review. 28(1), 43-55

Hermann, T. (2008) ‘Taxonomy and Definitions for Sonification and Auditory Display’, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference of Auditory Display.

Kim, J. &Selfert, U. (2006) ‘Embodiment: The Body in Algorithmic Sound Generation’, Contemporary Music Review. 25(1-2), 139-149

Rosenboom, D. (1997) Extended Musical Interface with the Human Nervous System.Leonardo Monograph Series.(Freely available online here).

Rosenboom, D. (1976) Biofeedback and the Arts: Results of Early Experiments. Aesthetic Research Centre of Canada

Miranda, E. R. (2010) ‘Plymouth brain-computer music interfacing project: from EEG audio mixers to composition informed by cognitive neuroscience’, International Journal of Arts and Technology.3(2-3),154-176.

Miranda, E. R., Roberts, S  & Stokes, M. (2004) ‘On Generating EEG for Controlling Musical Systems’, BiomedizinischeTechnik.49(1), 75-76.

Walker, B. & Nees, M. (2011) ‘Theory of Sonification’ in Hermann, T., Hunt, A. Neuhoff, J. (eds.) The Sonification Handbook. Logos Publishing House.pp.9-39.

Worrall, D. (2009) ‘Introduction to Data Sonification’, in Dean, R. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. Oxford University Press.pp.312-334


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