unpredictability of cancer and its therapeutic implications. I earned my
Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical
Center at Dallas, Texas, USA in summer 2015. I am also a student in the BA
(Hons) Illustration program at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. During
as post doctoral researcher,
I conduct experiments and analyses on the variability of lung cancer cells.
During the nights and the weekends, I work on art projects. For my
contribution to cancer research, I have won the CCSB Young Scientist Award
from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA in 2013. My
cancer-art works are recognized and featured by Le Scienze, Rome, Italy,
National Academies Keck Future Initiative, California, Leonardo Journal,
MIT Press, Massachusetts, American Association for Cell Biology, Art
Science Collaborations, Inc., New York, Sci Art in America online magazine,
New York, and Creative disturbances project at UT Dallas, Texas, USA.
History of mankind is flooded with many examples of scientists engaged in
art-science collaborative practices. However, in various situations it is
not clearly articulated what scientists get out of such collaborations.
Below are the reasons why as a cancer researcher, I engage in art-science
1) To attain clarity of mind regarding a complex scientific problem - In
science, as I understand, finding the answer is easy if we know the right
question ask. In my experience, practicing art or collaborating with
artists at various levels helps me to see the same problem from a novel
perspective. Such practice helps in identification of specific experiments
to test a hypothesis.
2) To understand multidimensional data - Often studying a complex disease
such as cancer that is really combination of many diseases, needs
multidimensional data acquisition for various biological attributes shared
by the tumor cells. Representing such data in a different media helps to
find meaningful patterns.
3) To build cognitive models - When real-life data is not available on a
complex system, understanding of such system occurs via visualization of
cognitive models. I create those visualizations in traditional and digital
media. Such models may motivate creating a computer simulation of this
system's dynamics in specific experimental conditions.
4) To make general public understand science – Very few general people and
even scientists from other disciplines understand the complexity we deal
with in a therapeutic oncology lab every day. It is the responsibility of
scientists to communicate their science in many levels. Why would a
philanthropist fund cancer research if he/she does not even understand the
problem? Using art as a medium, I have successfully reached out to a larger
audience to communicate the complexity involved in first, understanding and
then, curing cancer.
5) To practice art because I want to
practice art- art for the sake of art, autotelic art, l'art
l'art. Honestly, it does not have to be about science all the time! I was
born to be both a scientist and an artist and I cannot live without
practicing both.It is not about investing time and energy when something
becomes larger than "you", when something becomes the purpose of your life!
Is there serious
career risks since many science establishments are very conservative
and do not see the value of such activities? Yes, of course! There is no
one to follow in such a novel career path. I have to journey through this
path believing only in myself. But, during this journey I meet visionaries
who support my choice. In summary, by combining principles of cancer
research and art I fulfill the purpose of my life.I pursue what I am
passionate about and what matters to me. I live the life I love.
Dhruba Deb, Ph.D.
Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX, USA
On Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 10:13 PM, roger malina <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> As part of our discussion on emerging topics for the SEAD study 5 year
> We ask the question
> Why do Scientists engage in Art-Science practices today?
> Moderated by Guillermo Munoz and Roger Malina
> Are you a scientist engaged in art-science practices ? Why do you invest
> time and energy? We hope the scientists on this list will send us a
> paragraph or two max
> explaining why as scientists they are engaged in art-science practices.
> At the Yasmin 10th anniversary in Valencia last week, organized by
> Munoz, we had a chance to discuss many topics. One topic that came up is
> the growing number of research scientists engaged in art-science
> Guillermo is a young physicist in the nano sciences, and I am a a mid
> astrophysicist now become an art-science researcher. Why are we as
> engaged in art-science practices ? For young, and older, scientists
> this can present serious
> career risks since many science establishments are very conservative
> and disciplinary
> and do not see the value of such activities.
> As a result we have put together an initial small informal network of
> colleagues who have professional activities in the arts:
> Wendy Silk- Environmental Science, Susan Eriksson- Geosciences
> Robert Root Bernstein Physiology, Roger Malina Astronomy, Guillermo
> Munoz Nano Science
> Francois Joseph Lapointe molecular biology, Dhru Deb Oncology,
> Michelle Root Bernstein: Bio Scientist
> We have named our collective the "Scientists Mercado Central Exchange'
> because the idea was born during a meal at the central market in Valencia.
> The discussion will take place on the YASMIN discussion list: subscribe at
> You can also follow the discussion without participating at our blog site
> We welcome short one/two paragraph posts from all scientists in this list
> explain your scientific activities, your art science ones and tell us why
> you do this !
> Guillermo Munoz and Roger Malina on behalf of the Scientists
> Mercado Central Exchange
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
> Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
> SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the
page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and
password in the fields found further down the page.
> HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter
your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on
the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
> TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set
Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
> If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to
Yasmin_discussions mailing list
Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/