Professor Diana Six from the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, University of Montana presented a talk "SciArt: what, why, and how" at the FABI Monday Morning Meeting (MMM) on 7 November. Prof. Six, who holds an appointment as an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria, is a board member of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellent in Plant Health Biotechnology (CPHB) and long-time collaborator and friend of the institute. She explained that SciArt is the joining of art and science and this is not a new concept as both artists and scientists aim to explore their environment and understand it through their respective mediums. Diana took the audience on a tour of how she started practicing SciArt to explore her identity as a scientist. This genre is gaining in popularity and is now broadly recognized as a powerful avenue of outreach for scientists. Diana’s talk explained what SciArt is it, why should scientists create it, and how do scientists go about co-creation with artists (or become artists themselves).  She provided examples of various types of SciArt and SciArt collaborations, and described ways to get started and hosted an informal workshop following MMM where she discussed ways to build collaborations and to make some ‘quick SciArt’.

A recent SciArt piece by Diana “Birth of a Symbiologist” has been acquired by FABI and hangs in the Institute’s reception foyer area.