Science communication in an interdisciplinary research project: The interplay between scientists, art historians, conservators and the general public

Author: Francien Bossema – Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica, Netherlands


  • Joost Batenburg – Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica, Netherlands
  • Erma Hermens – Rijksmuseum, Netherlands

The Impact4art project develops CT scanning as a tool for art historical and conservation research. We visualise the structure and inside of art objects, which is of importance for research into the manufacturing process and for conservation purposes. The project is a collaboration between the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) and the Rijksmuseum, both in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. We aim to build bridges between science, art history and conservation. There are two main communication aspects: interdisciplinary communication and communication to a wider public. The present increase in academic interdisciplinary research projects requires researchers from different fields to find a common language. We would like to share our experiences with this in IMPACT4Art and discuss with the audience the challenges and best practises concerning interdisciplinary research communication.

Next to that, the communication of the results of this project to a broad audience features other interesting challenges. Art objects are often beautiful and intriguing to all audiences: researchers and laymen alike. The audiences attention is captured by the many secrets hidden within the object which can be investigated using CT technology. We would like to invite participants to engage in a discussion, led by the following questions. How can we use this natural fascination for arts and crafts to effectively communicate both the results and the underlying technology? How important is it that the public understands and engages with the technology, or is it enough to be thrilled by the object and just experience the research results? In other words: what is the goal of the outreach to the general public and how can we investigate the effect of these outreach activities?

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Visual presentation
Theme: Technology