How Science is Pictured in the Media and Public Culture: A Joint Reading the Pictures – Seeing Science Salon


Thursday, December 1, 7 – 9 p.m. 

Online via Google Hangout: Register Now

Viewing Party: 107 Fine Arts
Refreshments provided

If photography was invented so that the sciences could communicate with each other, now it’s as much about making that investigation relevant to consumers, investors and alternately curious, fearful or enthralled citizens. This discussion is interested in science as a social agenda and a media phenomenon. It’s about the popularization of science, the attitude and approach on the part of science toward its own activities and what the general public sees of it.
The Reading the Pictures Salon series brings together experts on visual culture to converse about and analyze a group of ten news and media photographs in an online discussion format. This Salon is being jointly produced with Reading the Pictures and UMBC as a component of SEEING SCIENCE, the  year-long project exploring the role photography plays in shaping, representing, and furthering the sciences.
The distinguished panel includes: Rebecca Adelman, UMBC Professor of Media & Communication Studies; Ben de la Cruz, Multimedia Editor, Science Desk, NPR; Marvin Heiferman, Curator, Project Director “Seeing Science”; Corey Keller, Curator, SFMOMA; Kurt Mutchler, Senior Editor, Science, Photography Department, National Geographic; and Max Mutchler, Space Telescope Science Institute, Hubble Heritage Project manager, and will be moderated by University of Maine professor and visual scholar, Nate Stormer.
The panel will analyze ten key photos carefully culled from thousands of media images across sixteen categories of science. (Fifty more images will also be presented on the Reading the Pictures Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds in the weeks leading up to the panel discussion, and then added to this post after the event.)
The talk will take place over the Google HangOut platform accommodating live audio and video with involvement from viewers via live chat. Registration to view and participate in the salon is free and open now at
UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) is hosting a viewing party on the UMBC campus open to all with refreshments provided. (Registration at is encouraged for those who wish to participate in the discussion from the viewing party on their devices.)
SEEING SCIENCE is a University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) project, initiated and produced by the Center for Art, Design & Visual Culture (CADVC) in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President of Research. The project has received additional support from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore County Commission on the Arts and Sciences. A grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation was instrumental in the development of this site.
SEEING SCIENCE producer and curator Marvin Heiferman creates projects about photography and visual culture for institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, International Center of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Heiferman has written for numerous publications, monographs, magazines and blogs, including The New York Times, CNN, Artforum, Design Observer, Gagosian Quarterly, Art in America, and Aperture. Author and/or editor of over two dozen books on visual culture, his most recent book is Photography Changes Everything (Aperture/Smithsonian, 2012). A Visiting Senior Research Scholar at UMBC, Heiferman is also a core faculty member in the School of Visual Arts MFA Program in Photography, Video & Related Media and the ICP/Bard College MFA Program in Advances Photographic Studies in New York.
This is a free event, online and on campus, and open to the public.
(Photo: Daniel Stier, From Ways of Knowing, 2015.)

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