Nelson Speaker Series 2012

As a part of our blog we’ll be highlighting events in Claremont that may be of interest.

Our first post highlights the Nelson Speaker Series at Harvey Mudd, which celebrates “art that explores science and technology’s aesthetic, creative, cultural and political dimensions.” The series, named for Mudd alum Bruce J. Nelson (’74), reinforces the liberal arts theme at Harvey Mudd and the Claremont Colleges at large by celebrating the beauty of science, what it uncovers, and its relationship to other disciplines. In 2009, selected speakers for the series theme of beauty in mathematics emphasized the majestic beauty that comes from a perfect equation, or mathematical solutions that demonstrate wondrous things about our universe. 2010 focused on environmental sustainability and solutions to the global energy crisis—again maintaining the emphasis on the role of science in keeping our world beautiful.

The concept of beauty in science is being explored from another angle this year, with the theme, “Art, Science and Technology: Between the Studio and the Lab”.  The series will show the role that science plays in creating and inspiring (contemporary) art, and vice versa, the ways that art plays a vital role in the operations of science research and public engagement. Speakers for this series include Margaret Wertheim, whose crocheted coral reef unites physics, art, and environmental awareness; Roger Malina, an astronomer focused on the intersectionality of art and science in practice and theory and the importance of this intersectionality; musician Carl Stone who has created music from audio landscapes; and many others who, as scientists, have found a way to use art to further their scientific discoveries.

-Amy Borsuk, ‘14

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