The Art of Performing Science: Analogies across Disciplines

24th October, 2017, 8:30-17:30, 17- Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London.

The Art of Performing Science was an interactive symposium at Imperial College, London. It supported researchers in building collaborative networks, with the aim to foster interaction with experts outside science and medicine to trigger new scientific thinking through collaboration.

This private webpage presents the footage of that day. It is split into two sections.  The first comprises six video recordings from the 'Collaboration' and 'Input' sessions.  The second is a collection of clips from the interactive workshops

Part 1: Council Room Sessions

Collaboration 1: Lacemaking and Vascular Surgery (Fleur Oakes – Embroiderer; Colin Bicknell – Vascular Surgeon; Roger Kneebone – Project Leader)

Input 1: Looking Beyond the Borders: Educational System in Switzerland (Claudia Schlegel – Project Researcher)

Input 2: Looking Beyond the Borders: Bespoke (Friedrich Lersch – Anaesthetist and Joshua Byrne – Tailor)

Input 3: Looking Beyond the Borders: Analogy in Scientific Work; a Success Story (Katrin Altwegg – Astrophysicist; Paul Brown – Mechanical Instrumentation Workshop Manager; Roger Kneebone – Project Leader)

Collaboration 2: Mise-en-Place (Kirsty Flower – Molecular Biologist and Jozef Youssef – Chef)

Roundtable Discussion Chaired by Roger Kneebone

Part 2: Interactive Workshops

The videos below are snippets of conversation from the 'Interactive Workshop' sessions. This footage is minimally edited (an assembly of two camera angles, without additions of cutaways and without further framing), so primarily for reference. N.B. Should you like to extrapolate a point to use in a presentation or other production, please get in touch with me so we can construct a bespoke, neater clip suitable for public viewing. A clip presenting a general overview of the day, including interviews with participants, is under assembly at the moment, and will follow shortly.

Beside each video, I have included my contextual notes to help navigation.  These are brief prompts to help orient you, including general themes and topics that come up in conversation.

  • Introductions
  • Focus on surgery
  • Working patterns
  • Team consistency; stability and transience
  • Rowing vs. medicine. Some comparison with dancing
  • Verbal vs. physical communication
  • Meanings of 'theatre'
  • Gross motor skills vs. fine motor skills

  • Panel painting process
  • Conservation vs. restoration
  • Visual recognition
  • Restoration in dentistry
  • Fashions in restoration
  • Taxidermy trends
  • Modernising specimens vs. retaining historical accuracy
  • Irreplaceable material

  • [Conversation rejoined to capture live taxidermy]
  • Haptic feedback
  • Tactile experience
  • Understanding anatomy

  • Contamination; musical and clinical
  • Encouraging vs. avoiding contamination
  • Cross-fertilisation (of music and dance)
  • Discussion about differences in interpretation of Bach between  '50s, '60s, '70s versions which were 'heavy and solid' and present-day versions which are 'transparent and lively'
  • [Discussion cuts off to capture live taxidermy – video directly above this one]

  • Small-scale working
  • Jewellery making and cutting
  • Planning with precious materials
  • Eyesight
  • Tools; manual and digital
  • 3D-printing 'having mechanical look about it'

  • Irrevocable acts
  • Importance of preparation
  • Points of no return
  • 'Starting in the middle'
  • Scheduling minor procedures prior to major procedures; 'taking a run-up' to difficult tasks
  • What is irrevocable?

  • Deviating from the norm
  • Purpose of documentation in high-risk contexts
  • One person operators vs. collaboration
  • Guild system
  • Technique and imagination
  • Apprenticeship time
  • Risks and lack of risk taking

  • Using sound as a judgement aid
  • Knife skills/sharpness
  • Looking after instruments vs. single-use instruments.

  • Scale and optics
  • Call for development of new, light, cheap optics

  • Stability (hand)
  • Carving and surgery
  • Use of fingers for positioning
  • Guitar and surgery

  • Avoiding failure
  • Terry Clark on simulation

  • Gut feelings
  • 'As a culture, we're transfixed by the written word'

  • Meaning of performance/performing

  • Posture
  • Sensation
  • Haptic feedback through instrumentation
  • Different forms of feedback
  • Feedback through brushes (conservation)

  • Rectal examination process
  • Subjects 'not taught, but lessons implied'
  • Using haptic and touch-recognition technology in medical exams (eg. strength of squeeze on finger during rectal exam)

  • Short comment about twitter and email communication

  • Plating
  • Developing sensitivity
  • 'Having a hand' for plating
  • Elegance