Under the guidance of university president Michael Crow, Arizona State University has become known for its innovative projects and ever-growing number of research initiatives and interdisciplinary schools.
This fall, the school will add one more to the list: The Center for Science and the Imagination, "an institutional platform for ambitious thinking and creative collaboration between the humanities, arts and sciences." Ed Finn, assistant professor at the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English will serve as director of the center, which will officially launch on Monday, September 24.
Finn describes the centers as a "sort of connective tissue" that will bridge the many pre-existing science, innovation, and research groups within the university. He hopes to connect students, projects and ideas across various disciplines to "foster creative and ambitious thinking about the future."
For example, the center will provide science students a place for creative projects.
"It will be a safe space for really open collaboration," Finn says. "To create collaboration between students of different backgrounds."
The center will also join forces on large-scale university projects such as "Hieroglyph," a project to foster partnerships between scientists and science fiction writers. Finn says he also hopes to turn "Emerge" - a campus-wide event held last March that challenged artists, engineers, scientists, storytellers and designers to rethink possible futures - into an annual event.
For a full list of future collaborations see the center's website.
The launch will be held at the recently completed ISTB4 building on the ASU Tempe campus. President Crow and Intel Futurist Brian David Johnson will discuss future projects and formal partnerships with the center including Intel, Slate Magazine and the Society for Science and the Public.
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This will offer an opportunity to explore the new ISTB4 building, the largest single research building at ASU. The building houses the university meteorite collection - the largest university-based collection in the world - as well as a Curiousity rover replica, NASA exhibits and the 4,300-square-foot "Gallery of Earth and Space Exploration."
Tickets are available for free at the Center for Science and Imagination website.
Finn will also be speaking at the Arizona Science Center on Friday, September 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. as a part of the Science Cafe series. The informal discussion will be called "Envisioning the Nano City."