Heather Bimonte-Nelson from Arizona State University turns to acrylics and canvases to get a greater understanding of science.
Science isn’t a field traditionally linked to “the arts” but a neuroscientist at Arizona State University has started using paintings as a form of creative expression for her research, to explain her science to others and develop a greater understanding of her own work.
Heather Bimonte-Nelson, head of the Memory and Aging Lab, focuses on learning, memory and brain changes as people get older. Research Matters reports that she uses acrylic paints and canvases to visualize her research, with artworks that depict neurons, cells, memories and seizures. She told them:
Science is really about convincing people that your hypothesis or theory could be the truth in nature. And if you’re not a good storyteller, people will never believe it. You could have the best theory ever, but if you can’t communicate it effectively so others understand it, it doesn’t count.
Bimonte-Nelson’s paintings give her a greater understanding of the science she is researching and help her further her work and express herself when she is trying to communicate theories and ideas. In just one year, she has created around 40 paintings, which she hangs in her office or gives away to students and friends.