“Life As We Don’t Know It” is a science-art fusion project funded by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery’s Marie Christine Kohler Fellowship program, which pairs science and art fellows to nucleate around interdisciplinary thought, and co-create science-art fusion projects and events for the public. “Life As We Don’t Know It” aims to explore of the limits of what scientists and artists consider to be “life.” A cohort of 9 UW-Madison multimodal student artists will work with a group of 6 early career scientists across disciplines, including astrobiology, complex systems science, biology, and history/philosophy of science, to imagine forms of “life as we don’t know it”. Participating artists and scientist will engage with each other through a series of workshops, and the pieces produced as a result of these collaborations will be displayed in a gallery space in the Spring of 2022 (more info about the gallery opening TBA later this year). For more information about the project leads, participating scientists, and artists, visit the Kohler Fellows website. For updates about the project, follow the OoLALA Twitter page!
In the Spring of 2019, the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery hosted a public lecture series to highlight advances in Origins of Life, Artificial Life, & Astrobiology (OoLALA) research and featured presentations by four experts in the field. The events collectively represented the breadth of OoLALA by including discussions on the search for the underlying physics of life, building artificial cells, rewinding and replaying life’s evolution on Earth, and exploring how we can detect signs of life on distant planets by studying their atmospheres. During their visits, each of the speakers had the opportunity to interact with UW-Madison students, staff, and faculty, and forged connections to the growing OoLALA presence here on campus. We thank the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, and the UW-Madison Departments of Astronomy and Chemical and Biological Engineering for their support, and our featured speakers for their participation in the inaugural OoLALA Research Showcase. We hope that future installments will be made possible (to suggest potential speakers, please contact Lena Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information on the Spring 2019 Showcase: https://news.wisc.edu/seminar-on-astrobiology-aims-to-inspire-a-look-into-the-bounds-of-life/OoLALA_Flyer_2019