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Authors: Boccato, C.* 
Rubbia, G.* 
Rinaldi, A.* 
Misiano, A.* 
Title: From art to astrophysics: how art inspires science communication. A show for planetariums to convey astronomical concepts throughout images, dialogue and art exhibition.
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Observa Science in Society
ISBN: 978-88-904514-9-2
Keywords: Science outreach, science in society, art and science
astrophysics, aesthetics
Subject Classification05. General::05.03. Educational, History of Science, Public Issues::05.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The process which gives life to artworks because painters are inspired by the charm of the Sky is a well-known process. Beauty and mystery of Cosmos have always given mankind, and still give, a lot of masterpieces, from the Halley comet painted by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel to the Starry Nights by Vincent Van Gogh. But, what to say about the opposite process? How could art inspire science? In many ways but we propose here one in a format appropriate for science communication. We start from some paintings of Alessandro Rinaldi, an Italian quoted artist present at 54th Biennale International Art Exhibition of Venice. Focusing our attention on few Rinaldi paintings representing some cosmic scenes, such as starry skies, constellations, moons, we will perform a dialogue between Science and Art, played by two women. The dialogue will be written assembling skills in astrophysics, science communication, screenwriting and art. Final product will be a drama performed in a particular theatre, built primarily for educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky: a planetarium. Public will be involved in an immersive show of artistic and astronomical images, and will listen to the two characters, Lady A and Lady S, discussing both artistic and scientific aspects of each painting: from the raw material used for painting to the real knowledge of represented celestial objects. Few, selected and correct astronomical notions will be conveyed in a new, funny and attractive way also for people not quite interested in science. The proposed format could be regarded as new for science outreach, where Astronomy could be replaced with Natural and Environmental Sciences, while dialogues around scientific issues could be performed inside planetariums as well on other stages. But there is more: well also tell public that Science doesn’t make Art loose her charm and beauty, rather she makes her stronger because mindful of her potential; Art doesn’t make science loose her strictness and reliability, rather she makes her stronger because mindful of her beauty. Public will have the opportunity of seeing real artworks in a exhibit inside the planetarium and filling in a questionnaire before and after the show. In this way changing in scientific notions and the related perception of artworks will be collected in order to have a realistic feedback about the efficiency of our project.
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