Navigating New Territories

Issue 64 April 2021

Revealing Affinities between Art and Science

Philip F. Palmedo studied art history and physics as an undergraduate at Williams College, and received his PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT. He carried out nuclear reactor physics research at the French nuclear laboratory at Saclay and at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He then initiated and headed the International Resources Group and the Long Island Research Institute. He has written extensively in many areas, including several books on modern sculpture. His most recent book is ‘Deep Affinities: Art and Science’, on which this article is based.

Habitats of Composition: The Nature of the Commons

This is an article about land art that constructs habitats of refuge or survival shelters. The art of constructing forest sanctuaries, as a form of social media, is a resourcing of found materials transformed into personal and social places of significance. Amidst COVID-19 restrictions, nature became everyone’s place to be and public parks were an essential commonplace for combining and finding a place apart to come together. What emerged in the forests of Phoenix Park, Dublin was the construction of landmarks for protection and solace. As bushcraft and public artforms, these dens act as declarations of personal security and social constructions, occupying both a boundary and an invitation. They are landmarks for solitary pursuits and social encounters—transformative locations for introspection and the communal sharing of a forest.

On Groundswell

Dr Pamela Whitaker is an art therapist living in Ireland who practices under the name of Groundswell, a social enterprise working in the areas of art therapy, art and participation, environmental arts, and arts and health. She has written ‘Groundswell: The Nature and Landscape of Art Therapy in Materials and Media in Art Therapy’ (edited by Catherine Hyland Moon) and ‘The Art Therapy Assemblage in Art Therapy and Postmodernism’ (edited by Helene Burt).

Flailing About – and Having Compassion on Ourselves – as We Stand on the Verge of a New Renaissance

The lead author’s experience with AICAN and other art and artificial intelligence projects at Rutgers University has inspired the thought that the art world finds itself in a period of discovery and experimentation similar to that leading up to the original Renaissance. As artists navigate this new territory, there is hence much “flailing about”, but it can nonetheless be argued that there will soon enough emerge one or more techno/new media art schools of evident confidence and inspiration. The authors conclude by venturing an informed opinion as to a preferred course for future creative engagement with the emerging machine intelligence.

The Black Stuff and The Sill

Joshua Burraway is a medical anthropologist working at the intersection between social and political theory, cultural phenomenology, addiction medicine, and psychiatry. He is interested in how historical and structural forces shape different modes of subjectivity, in particular with regards to altered states of consciousness induced by psychoactive chemicals among homeless substance-users. ‘The Black Stuff’ and ‘The Sill’ are recent short stories he has written.

Poems

Lynne Goldsmith’s first book, ‘Secondary Cicatrices’, won the 2018 Halcyon Poetry Prize, was a 2019 Finalist in the American Book Fest Awards, a 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Award Gold Winner and won a new Finalist Award in the International Book Awards. Her poetry has been published in Backchannels Journal, Spillway, Thimble Literary Magazine, Environmental Magazine, Red Planet Magazine, among others, with upcoming poems in Tiny Seed Literary Journal and Scotland’s 2020 Geopoetry Conference program. Her poetry book ‘Secondary Cicatrices’ recently won a Book Excellence Finalist Award.

Five ways artificial intelligence can help space exploration

Deep Bandivadekar is a PhD student at the Aerospace Centre of Excellence, University of Strathclyde and does research work as part of the Intelligent Computational Engineering Laboratory (ICE-Lab). His research interests are Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Thermodynamics, Hypersonics, Artificial Intelligence, Design Optimisation, Global and Multi-objective Optimisation.

Audrey Berquand is a PhD candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Strathclyde. Her research question asks – “Can all the data and lessons learned harvested online, collected from previous current and future studies, be reused and enhanced with computational intelligence methods to advance current concurrent engineering design processes and decision making at the early phases of space missions design?”

Are the brains of atheists different to those of religious people? Scientists are trying to find out

Miguel Farias is Associate Professor in Experimental Psychology, Coventry University. He works on the psychology of belief and spiritual practices, including meditation. He was a lecturer in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and currently leads the Brain, Belief and Behaviour Lab at the Centre for Trust, Peace & Social Relations, Coventry University. “My primary research explores the biological roots and psychological impact of beliefs and spiritual practices, including meditation. I use a combination of experimental methods from social and biological psychology, personality theory, and cognitive neurosciences. I am currently writing about the effects of meditation and conducting new research on the modification of beliefs.”

Evidence of brand new physics at Cern? Why we’re cautiously optimistic about our new findings

Harry Cliff is a particle physicist at the University of Cambridge, working on the LHCb experiment, a huge particle detector buried 100 metres underground at CERN near Geneva. “I’m a member of an international team of around 1400 physicists, engineers and computer scientists who are using LHCb to study the basic building blocks of our universe.” His first popular science book, ‘How To Make An Apple Pie From Scratch’, which will be published in August 2021.

Konstantinos Alexandros Petridis is a Senior lecturer in Particle Physics, University of Bristol. His research focuses on the study of rare processes involving the decays of bottom quarks.

Paula Alvarez Cartelle is a Lecturer of Particle Physics, University of Cambridge, working on the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. “I study very rare decays of particles containing b-quarks, with the aim to find the missing pieces that would help us understand some of the open questions in fundamental physics.”

How children can learn to balance science and religion

Liam Guilfoyle is a Postdoctoral Research Officer, University of Oxford, working on the Oxford Argumentation in Religion and Science (OARS) project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is particularly motivated by exploring the challenges and possibilities for teachers drawing on educational research for classroom practice and to this end, he is a member of the Teaching Council’s Research Engagement Group (REG) in Ireland, which works to promote teachers’ engagement with and in research. Liam also serves as a reviewer for the International Journal of Science Education and NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning through Research.

Birds use massive magnetic maps to migrate – and some could cover the whole world

Richard Holland is Professor in Animal Behaviour, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University. His research group focuses on the cognitive processes and sensory mechanisms by which animals navigate and migrate. “While my principle focus is at the level of the whole organism I also incorporate aspects of neurobiology, molecular biology, and physics to identify the environmental cues, sensory pathways and mechanisms used by animals to decide how, when and where to move.”

Dmitry Kishkinev is a Lecturer in Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Neuroscience, Keele University. His project ‘Sensory systems for short and long-distance navigation in birds ‘ addressed the questions of how migratory songbirds can use magnetic and olfactory senses for finding their geographic position relative to destinations, whether the use of these senses depends on geographic scale (short vs long distances) and where magnetosensensory cells (aka magnetoreceptors) could be located in the animal’s body.

We’re teaching robots to evolve autonomously – so they can adapt to life alone on distant planets

Professor Emma Hart is Chair in Natural Computation, Edinburgh Napier University. She is active world-wide in the field of Evolutionary Computation, an Editor-in-Chief of Evolutionary Computation (MIT Press) from January 2016 and an elected member of the ACM SIGEVO Executive Board. She is also a member of the UK Operations Research Society Research Panel.

Why AI can’t ever reach its full potential without a physical body

Mark Lee is Emeritus Professor in Computer Science, Aberystwyth University. “I have degrees in Electrical Engineering and Psychology and have worked in AI, robotics and CS for 40 years. I am a fellow of the IET and of the Learned Society of Wales. My research explores how robots might learn about the world in the same way that infants build up their understanding in the first few years. This approach (known as Developmental Robotics) contrasts with the Big Data and Deep Learning methods of modern Artificial Intelligence. My recent book, “HOW TO GROW A ROBOT: DEVELOPING HUMAN-FRIENDLY, SOCIAL AI” (MIT Press, 2020) explains these ideas, and their consequences, in detail.”