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Science Café series to showcase interdisciplinary program

Louisiana Tech University’s chapter of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society will host a discussion titled, “Visual Integration of Science Through Art (VISTA): Medical Illustration at Louisiana Tech” at 5:30 p.m. January 24 as part of their Science Café series.

The event will take place in the community room of Gibson’s Natural Grocers at 1305 Commerce Street in Ruston and is free to attend.  Members of the local and campus communities are cordially invited.

Digital design created by Nicholas Bustamante to depict research by Louisiana Tech faculty for publication in a recent science and engineering journal.

Dr. Jamie Newman from Louisiana Tech’s School of Biological Sciences, Nicholas Bustamante from the School of Design, and Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore from the Biomedical Engineering Department will lead the presentation which showcases a unique, interdisciplinary opportunity for students in the area of medical illustration that is designed to help them learn how to use art to effectively communicate scientific concepts to diverse audiences.

According to the VISTA program faculty, it has become common for people to see scientific artwork in television commercials advertising new drugs, posters in doctor’s offices, textbooks and on-line interactive learning materials.  This creative collaboration between the arts and sciences provides Louisiana Tech students with a valuable experience and the tools needed to create visuals and to become proficient in digital design techniques.

Newman, Bustamante and Caldorera-Moore have been working together for the past two years to develop this opportunity for students, offering the first course in Digital Painting last winter quarter that culminated in an art exhibit and auction.  The second group of students is currently enrolled in the Digital Painting course and will again be part of a special exhibit and auction in the spring.

Pre-medical illustration will become an available concentration for students beginning in the fall quarter and is designed to prepare students for both graduate school and a future career in medical illustration.  During the Science Café event, Newman, Bustamante and Caldorera-Moore will highlight and answer questions about Digital Painting and the VISTA program.

Sponsored by Sigma Xi at Louisiana Tech, Science Café is a series of public “chats” with researchers during the fall, winter and spring academic quarters where members of the campus and local communities can have a conversation with a scientist about their work.  “Visual Integration of Science Through Art (VISTA): Medical Illustration at Louisiana Tech” is the second installment in the annual series.  Science Café seeks to promote scientific communication and the diversity of research happening at Louisiana Tech.

For more information on Science Café at Louisiana Tech, contact Dr. Terri Maness at tmaness@latech.edu.