Creativity is something common to many disciplines and is certainly involved in artistic and scientific thought and work. Scientists and artists are asked to see and think beyond the perceivable reality. They can imagine aspects of things and phenomena, which can only be seen from an unusual perspective: they possess vision and creativity. We found it interesting to explore similarities and differences in the way art and science move, using the artistic language to talk about science. This is the goal of “Art&Science across Italy”, a European project organized by the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and CERN: the use of the artistic language to capture the interest in the science of all students, regardless of their attitude towards scientific subjects or their initial knowledge, in order to represent scientific ideas and research topics through artworks. The artistic tools used by students to communicate science can be painting, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, storytelling or other artistic languages that can be useful to tell the story they have in mind.
The first step of the "Art&Science across Italy" project is aimed at training students on science and art, while in a second phase students are asked to design and implement an artwork inspired at a specific scientific topic, chosen among the ones approached during the first phase. All artworks will take part to a local exhibition, established in either a historical-cultural centre or a museum, in each participating city. The first 10 artworks of each local competition will pass to the national phase.
Selected by an international committee of experts (scientists, artists, science communicators), the winners of the national Art&Science competition will be invited to attend a school on art and science at CERN, in Geneva, and in other laboratories in Italy.
The first edition of the project (2016-2018) involved 3000 students, who took part in scientific seminars and worked on artistic ideas inspired by science and research. The second edition of the project involves more than 4000 high school students from Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, Padua, Venice, Potenza, Matera, Pisa, Rome and Turin and will end in May 2020.