The Compendium of Living Enquiry

14 November 2016 to 16 December 2016

CSIRO Discovery Centre, Industry Link Room; Clunies Ross Street, Acton, Canberra, Australia

Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm

‘The Compendium of Living Enquiry’ presents more than 20 black and white pen drawings that encourage viewers to think about how scientists go about their investigative work.  Executed in a similar style to old-world etchings, the artist’s medium references the ‘visual thinkers’ of the Renaissance who maintained a foothold in scientific subjects to make art. 

‘The Compendium of Living Enquiry’ spans physical sciences, earth sciences and life sciences, observing many different contexts in which scientists collect evidence. While some scenes depict scientists indoors in apparently private investigation, many depict exposure to natural elements and illustrate significant physical risk. Apparently whimsical and fantastical scenes prompt serious contemplation of the directions of certain scientific enquiry.

Why do scientists take personal risks to advance knowledge? What are the different strategies employed by scientists while undertaking their investigations? How do we know whether a scientist is freely exploring, or planning, collecting, analyzing or classifying a subject?

The artist hopes that her drawings will help to advance understanding that there are different types of science enquiry. Before we can engage with scientists on topics that matter to us, and perhaps even join them in their endeavours, we need to be taught how scientists think about the world around us.