Art to Biology Graphic

The Sixth Annual Life Sciences & Society Symposium 
will focus on the provocative new work arising from intersections between the life sciences and art. The conference will highlight emerging areas of research and practice across and between disciplines, examining biological contexts of our response to art and aesthetic contexts of our response to scientific visualizations, as well as the twenty-first century art that has found inspiration at their convergence. In the process, the talks will inquire into the relationship between artistic and scientific invention.

The symposium will take place on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.  It is free and open to the university community and the public and is designed to encourage dialogue across methodologies and backgrounds.

Symposium Information

Affiliated Events

Pat Martino Visit

  • Documentary with Q & A;
  • A Conversation with
    Pat Martino;
  • Pat Martino Quartet Featuring Eric Alexander & Tony Monaco

Museum of Art & Archeology Exhibit
Connecting with Contemporary Sculpture

  • January 30 - March 16, 2010

Museum of Art & Archeology
Film Series will show

Koyaanisqatsi
dir. Godfrey Reggio

  • Friday, February 19, 7pm
  • Pickard Auditorium, Museum of Art & Archeology
Ragtag Film
Eadweard Muybridge Zoopraxographer,
dir. Thom Andersen
  • with discussion led by Professor Nancy West, MU English Department and Film Studies
  • Mon, February 22, 7:00 pm

University of Missouri-Columbia Ellis Library Exhibit
Anatomical Illustration: Art Informing Science: 1543 – 1950

The exhibit will run March 3- March 26, and will include books, prints and artifacts from Special Collections and Rare Books, the MU Health Sciences Library Rare Book Room, the University Archives, and the MU Veterinary Medical Library.

Opening lecture entitled: “Art and Human Nature”
by Professor Carsten Strathausen
Chair, MU Department of German & Russian Studies

  • Thurs. March 4, 2:00pm
  • Ellis Library Colonnade

Mizzou ADVANCE Interactive Theatre Troupe presents
A Knock at the Door

  • March 9, 2-3 pm
  • Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Lecture by Joseph Carroll University of Missouri, St. Louis
“The Historical Position of Literary Darwinism.”

  • Tuesday, March 9, 3:30 pm
  • Monsanto Auditorium, Bond Life Sciences Center

Jointly sponsored by

  • the MU English Department Lecture Series
  • the MU Biological Sciences Seminar Series,
  • the Life Sciences & Society Program

Words and Music: A Discussion with Daniel Levitin and Tim Page

  • Friday, March 12, 2:00-3:30 pm
  • Fred W. Smith Forum,  School of Journalism
Jointly sponsored by
  • the Smith/Patterson Lecture Series, School of Journalism
  • the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurological Disorders
  • the Life Sciences & Society Program

Please check back often for future updates.

For more information,
contact Stefani Engelstein at EngelsteinS@missouri.edu
or Karla Carter at Carterka@missouri.edu

Symposium Planning Committee
March 12-14, 2010

Stefani Engelstein; Chair
Director, Life Sciences & Society Program; Associate Professor of German


My research focuses on German and British literature and the life sciences, particularly in the Enlightenment and Romantic periods. I investigate the significance of shifting understandings of the human body in literature, natural history, surgery, aesthetics, and art for emerging theories of human subjectivity, gender, volition, ethical behavior, and political organization.  Her book, Anxious Anatomy: The Conception of the Human Form in Literary and Naturalist Discourse, appeared with SUNY Press in 2008.

Brian Cone

Medical School Candidate & Graduate Teaching Assistant


I am interested in further researching Darwinian medicine in conjunction with allopathic medicine, which is the application of modern evolutionary theory in an attempt to explain the ultimate mechanisms for human health and disease. 

Craig T. Palmer
Department of Anthropology, Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies


My research goal is to incorporate cultural traditions into evolutionary explanations of human behavior.

Philip Robbins
Department of Philosophy, Associate Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies


My research addresses various conceptual and empirical issues in the interdisciplinary study of social cognition and the self, with special attention to how we represent the conscious mental lives of ourselves and others and the role of those representations in facilitating social interaction and affiliation.

Pradeep Sahota
Professor & Chairman of Neurology, Director, Sleep Disorders Center and Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program


My research interests include: sleep and sleep disorders; narcolepsy/cataplexy; sleep apnea; restless leg syndrome and periodic limb movements in sleep; sleep and Parkinson's disease; Mechanism of effect of alcohol on sleep; and sleep and headache. 

Jack Schultz
Director, Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center; Professor of Plant Sciences


The Christopher S. Bond Center is an internationally-recognized interdisciplinary research organization solving problems in plant, human and animal health, the environment and agriculture. My personal research and teaching interests are in chemical ecology, which is the study of how chemistry mediates interactions among organisms.

Kennon M. Sheldon
Professor of Psychological Sciences


My primary research focus is on participants' personal goals, and the effects of different types of personal goals upon growth, development, and well-being. Another current research interest involves testing the claims made in my recent book, Optimal Human Being: An integrated multi-level perspective (Erlbaum, 2004)

Carsten Strathausen
Associate Professor of German & English; Department Chair of German & Russian Studies Department

My research-interests center on Bio-Aesthetics, that is, the relationship between art, politics, and biology.

Michael Yonan
Assistant Professor, Dept of Art History and Archaeology


My research interests include:  Eighteenth-century European art, with special interest in Austria, court culture, and the Habsburgs.  My book Empress Maria Theresa and the Politics of Habsburg Imperial Art is forthcoming from Pennsylvania State University Press.  My current research concerns eighteenth-century formulations of mental activity and their relationship to visual culture, particularly questions of expression, physiognomy, and character.


Sponsors and Partners

MU Office of the Provost – Mizzou Advantage Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Bond Life Sciences Center MU Department of Anthropology
MU Office of Research MU Department of Women's and Gender Studies
MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Art in Health Care - University of Missouri Healthcare
ABC Labs University of Missouri Concert Series
MU Center for Arts & Humanities Columbia Art League
MU Museum of Art & Archeology Ragtag Cinema
University of Missouri-Columbia Libraries We Always Swing Jazz Series
MU Conference Office ©
The Sixth Annual Life Sciences & Society Symposia