Creative Practice Research Project in collaboration with the IFT awarded funding by the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Creative Practice Research Project in collaboration with the IFT awarded funding by the Royal Society of Edinburgh

The project “Parameters for Understanding Uncertainty: Creative Practice and Sonic Detection as Strategies for Scientific Outreach (P4UU)” has been awarded a Royal Society of Edinburgh Saltire Early Career Fellowship. The principal researcher of the project is Dr Rebecca Collins, Lecturer in Contemporary Art Theory, from the University of Edinburgh, and it will be carried out in collaboration with the Instituto de Física Teórica IFT UAM-CSIC.

Collins will be joining the IFT for 12 months from January 2022, and she will be investigating how methodologies used in creative practice meet those in the physical sciences. Working alongside Dr Cerdeño and his group at the IFT, a central aim of the project is to find innovative approaches to better communicate research processes involving invisible matter.

For P4UU, Collins will combine research into existing art/science collaborations with a sonic inflection (e.g., Ars Electronica residencies at CERN, Geneva) with field research at laboratories where physical science experiments use sound technology for dark matter detection (e.g., the Canfranc Underground Laboratory and the Laboratory of Acoustics for the Detection of Astroparticles), to find unconventional research engagement strategies.

Collins believes that situated accounts of the aforementioned laboratories, a disused underground railway tunnel or below sea level, can provide new angles on often impenetrable methods of particle physicists. Her research will involve field work in the form of site visits, interviews, autoethnographic writing and workshops. Outputs will take the form of podcasts, new sound work, and a series of published materials putting the research into contact with a wider public.

In response to receiving the award, Dr Collins said: “I’m excited to work with the IFT on this interdisciplinary project to explore connections between creative practice and dark matter detection. As an early career researcher, this is a unique opportunity to build international research partnerships with innovative methods to question what we know about the universe.”

The Royal Society of Edinburgh Saltire Early Career Fellowships, funded by the Scottish Government, focus on the next generation of researchers to support Scotland-Europe research collaboration.

For more on the work of Dr Rebecca Collins, see her research profile here.

For further information on other projects supported by the RSE, see here.



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