SotF – Mhairi Stewart – Have Two become One? Exploring the interplay between Science and Art

Monday 17 August 2015, 7:50 pm - 8:50 pm
At: Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG


Dr Mhairi Stewart

Dr Mhairi Stewart

In 1959 distinguished scientist and novelist, C.P. Snow proposed that the practice of defining intellectual activity as either science or arts was impeding our ability to solve the world’s problems by creating two cultures.

55 years on we will explore what the ‘Two Cultures’ have to contribute to each other and if they have learnt to collaborate, communicate and combine to become a third culture, or if the void is as wide as ever.


Dr Mhairi Stewart started her scientific career as a molecular parasitologist fascinated at the intricate weapons and defences such small creatures can use against us. She came to realise however that her real passion lay in communicating research in innovative and creative ways.

To these ends Mhairi has written and played Mary Somerville in a spoken word piece, ‘Lady Scientists; Stitch and Bitch’, worked with crafting communities to create a cuddly parasitic infestation in ‘Crafty Critters’ and has created many comics and narrative non-fiction pieces using science as her inspiration.

These projects have led to Mhairi being awarded the 2015 RSE prize for innovation in public engagement for using creativity as a tool for engagement, particularly in creating art and science collaborative activities.

She lives near St Andrews with her artist husband Gary Erskine and two cats named after literary characters, Meg and Mog.

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