I’ve written a short article for the Crick Institute website about science and music. If you’ve thought about these two things before, a few obvious and stereotypical connections might come to mind. Hopefully the article goes beyond these or ignores them entirely :-). Thanks to Greta Keenan at the Crick comms team for arranging this!
On Friday I’ll be in Wrexham to take part in the DARGANFOD//DISCOVER festival that Mike Corcoran is organising. Roughly speaking, it’s a science festival, but there’s a whole lot of stuff crossing over with arts and music too — it looks pretty amazing. Lots of credit to Mike for getting it together, and for agreeing to lend his formidable conversation-leading powers to help my talk make a bit more sense.
Also taking part is the amazing Bryony Benge-Abbott who, among other things, is in charge of exhibitions at the Crick institute.
I’m really interested in the relationship between the arts and sciences (see, e.g., here), and today a few of us from the Crick Institute received a guided tour of a nice exhibition at Central Saint Martins. Crossing Fields is the degree show for their almost-unique MA in Art and Science, and is well worth a look in the next few days. A few that I managed to get snaps of are shown below — there are many more fantastic works to see. These ones are by Julie Light, Meri Lahti and Chang Zhou.
This Friday (22nd September 2017) I’ll be at a public event hosted by the Institute of Physics — The Physics of Life. If I remember right, this is partly prompted by the IoP’s upcoming move to a location near the Francis Crick Institute, where I work. Many thanks to Toby Shannon from the IoP for getting in touch!
I’ll be considering what we mean by “fundamental” science, how this relates to links between physics and biology, and why the Crick bothers to employ physicists. I’m also really looking forward to seeing Aimee Eckert speak, and she’s a biologist so there’s a nice symmetry to the whole thing. There will be science stalls and demos, and food and drink.
Recently I was very honoured to be invited to Creative Futures 2017 by my old friend Mike Corcoran. Mike is something of a polymath, with a huge variety of interests in the arts, philosophy and science. We originally met at Durham University while queueing for one of the many administrative things that first-year students have to queue for. We were the only two people in the year doing our particular combination of physics and philosophy modules, and remained friends throughout.
We had a discussion about similarities, differences, shared joys and shared troubles in the arts and the sciences. It was a lot of fun and I felt like we could have sat there chatting for hours. A nice video of the talk is available here, made by the people at Filmage.
At last year’s Biophysical Society 2015 meeting, Peter Olmsted and I met Philip Fowler, who at the time worked in Mark Sansom‘s group (he now works in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford). I had noticed a signal in their lipid bilayer simulations that looked like a two-step asymmetry/symmetry transition we had studied theoretically. Understanding how constituents of a lipid bilayer interact and self-organise is key to the biology of the cell membrane, as well as to applications of synthetic lipid bilayer membranes.
It has been a pleasure to work with Phil and Mark over the past year as we have looked closely into the symmetry and asymmetry of phase-separating bilayers, using a raft (geddit?) of new simulations expertly constructed and analysed by Phil. A joint paper is out now in JACS, linking the kinetics of lipid bilayer phases to a theoretical model of competing inter-leaflet coupling effects. Check it out!