SUMMARY Insight and Experience: An evaluation of the Wellcome Trust's Sciart programme

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An independent evaluation of the Wellcome Trust's Sciart funding programme. (Summary)
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  SUMMARY InSIght And ExchAngE:    A evaluaio o e Wellome trus’s Siar proramme By Paul glikowski aProessor Ae Bamor  2 InSIght And ExchAngE: A evaluaio o e Wellome trus’s Siar proramme  Acknowlegements Te autors wis to tank Meroë Cany an er colleaguesKen Arnol an Sara Cany at te Wellcome Trust, wo,togeter wit Paul Glinkowski an Proessor Anne Bamor,orme te Sciart evaluation researc project steering group.Te Engine Room also etens its tanks to te many Sciartproject participants, recipients o an applicants or Sciartawars, an oter iniviuals wit an involvement in oropinions about te Sciart programme wo contribute teirtime to provie etaile an rank responses in interviews,ocus groups, surveys an meetings.Publise by te Wellcome Trust, October 2009  Authors Paul Glinkowski an Proessor Anne Bamor Citing this report We suggest tat you cite tis report as ollows:Glinkowski P, Bamor A. Insigt an Ecange: An evaluationo te Wellcome Trust’s Sciart programme. Lonon: WellcomeTrust; 2009. www.wellcome.ac.uk/sciartevaluation (accesse 1November 2009).I you ave any queries about tis report, please contact: Meroë Candy Wellcome TrustGibbs Builing215 Euston RoaLonon NW1 2BE, UK T +44 (0)20 7611 8332 F +44 (0)20 7611 8254 E m.cany@wellcome.ac.uk www.wellcome.ac.uk/sciartevaluation © Te trustee o te Wellcome Trust.Tis is an open access publication an, wit te eception o images an illustrations, te content may, unlessoterwise state, be reprouce ree o carge in any ormat or meium, subject to te ollowing conitions:content must be reprouce accurately; content must not be use in a misleaing contet; te Wellcome Trustmust be attribute as te srcinal autor o te ocument specie in te attribution.Te Wellcome Trust is a carity registere in Englan, no. 210183. Its sole trustee is Te Wellcome TrustLimite, a company registere in Englan, no. 2711000, wose registere oce is at 215 Euston Roa,Lonon NW1 2BE, UK. INSIGhT ANd ExChANGE:  An evaluation o te Wellcome Trust’sSciart programme ExECUTIVE SUMMARY – INCLUdING WELLCOMETRUST RESPONSE   Full report available at www.wellcome.ac.uk/sciartevaluationTis researc was commissione rom Engine Room EnterpriseResearc an te University o te Arts Lonon.Cover image: ‘Primitive Streak’, a Sciart-uneproject by helen an Kate Storey. Jason Lowe  3 InSIght And ExchAngE: A evaluaio o e Wellome trus’s Siar proramme In 2007, te Wellcome Trust commissione te Engine Room atte University o te Arts Lonon to unertake an inepenentevaluation o te Trust’s Sciart uning programme.Running rom 1996 to 2006, Sciart was srcinally launceto un “visual arts projects wic involve an artist an ascientist in collaboration to researc, evelop an proucework wic eplore contemporary biological an meicalscience”. Over te course o a ecae its remit site anepane to embrace a wier spectrum o arts an scienceactivity. In total, Sciart supporte 118 projects wit nearly£3 million o uning to: stimulate interest an ecitement in biomeical science ã among aults oster interisciplinary an collaborative creative practice ã in te arts an science create a critical mass o artists looking at biomeical ã science an buil capacity in tis el.Sciart was believe, anecotally, to ave supporte teevelopment o a unique community o arts practitioners,a new orm o interisciplinary practice an a boy ocontemporary artistic work relating to science, an to avea a signicant infuence on te public’s engagement witscience. Te Sciart evaluation was commissione to investigate,ocument an summarise te outcomes o te sceme an toseek evience o its impacts.Te evaluation process inclue esk an arcival researc,primary ata collecte troug 46 in-ept interviews ansurvey tecniques, project an auience case stuies, anauience eit survey an ocus groups. In aition to a writtenreport, a limite istribution dVd giving an overview o ten Sciartcase stuy projects was prouce. Te report was launce ata conerence, Evaluating Sciart, el at te Wellcome Trust on5 June 2008. A summary o te key nings is organise ere aroun a serieso types o ‘capital’ 1 or wic evience was oun troug ananalysis o te sceme’s ten years o grant giving. Cultural capital Weter it was a matter o timing or incentive, uring teecae o Sciart tere was a cultural sit, especially witinte arts, towars more interisciplinary practice. Te burgeoningacaemic researc culture o te visual arts in particularbenete rom aving Sciart as a contet witin wic artistscoul evelop projects. Troug te contacts tat it encouragean enable wit te worl o science, Sciart also elpe toacilitate a tenency tat was perceive to be taking place witinte arts towars a more eplicit ‘social engagement’. Te Sciartprogramme a enable sometimes orgotten connectionsbetween te ‘two cultures’ 2 (art an science) to be recognisean accentuate. Bot Sciart an te Wellcome Trust wereseen as powerul an well-recognise brans. Partly as a resulto tis, iniviual Sciart projects were oten very successul inattracting meia coverage an wie eposure. however, terewas a eeling tat te potential overall or meia coverage ancultural sit a not been ully eploite, particularly wereprojects tat a receive iger value awars were concerne. Eucational capital Te presentation o te outputs o Sciart projects, trougevents suc as eibitions, a a consierable eucationalvalue or teir auiences. Te presentations tene to beinormative in temselves, oten introucing new subjectmatter an ieas, but tey also oten involve a more ormaleucational component. Tere was a wiesprea view tatartists’ communicative abilities a elpe to emystiy anmake more intelligible aspects o contemporary science. Aig proportion o bot artists an scientists a participatein eucational activities associate wit teir Sciart-uneprojects an te sceme a a a positive impact onperceptions o bot artists an scientists as communicatorsan as eucators. In tis sense te ‘two cultures’ weresown to ave te potential to coeist in a ruitul symbioticrelationsip. Interestingly, te participating artists anscientists learnt muc about one anoter’s isciplinesrom teir collaborations, but appeare generally not toave gaine a ig level o new insigt into teir own. Innovative capital  As well as ostering innovative outputs, Sciart grants aresulte in te emergence o new processes o working,particularly in terms o artists’ practice, an innovation oprocess was oten elt to be as important as te resultingproucts. Te smaller Sciart R&d grants, in particular, asucceee in ostering eperimentation an innovation.Te feible an non-prescriptive conitions associatewit te aministration o Sciart were value as avingirectly contribute to greater levels o risk-taking an tus toinnovation, an a perceive ‘permission to ail’ was seen as astrengt o te Sciart sceme. A minority o interviewees elt,owever, tat te reeom to take risks a peraps eclinein Sciart’s later years. It was suggeste tat artists were morelikely to be innovative an to take risks tan scientists, but tatsome scientists a become more open to risk-taking trougteir association wit artists. A small minority o intervieweescommente tat wile innovations a emerge rom projects,tese a oten not been ully capitalise upon an, wit urterinvestment, coul ave le on to te evelopment o prouctsor processes wit a wier application. Te ‘knowlege transer’implie in tis critique was not, owever, an eplicit aim orintention o te Sciart sceme. 2 the two culures was a ifueial Ree Leure ive i May 1959 by e ovelis c P Sow,wo was also a raie sieis. Sow arue a e ‘wo ulures’ o moer soiey – esiees a e umaiies – were eperiei a breakow i ommuiaios a wasa irae o solvi may o e problems ai e worl. te leure was subsequelypublise as The Two Cultures and the Scientifc Revolution , a oiues o be a imporapoi o reeree i isussios o e relaiosip bewee e ars a e siees. I wasreerre o o a umber o oasios uri e Siar evaluaio ierviews. 1    te sese i wi ‘apial’ is iee ere raws o e work o soiolois a uluralaalys Pierre Bourieu. For Bourieu, apial as as a soial relaio wii a sysemo eae, a e erm is eee “o all e oos maerial a symboli, wiouisiio, a prese emselves as rare a wory o bei sou aer i a pariularsoial ormaio”. harker P. Euaio a ulural apial. I R harker, c Maar, c Wilkes(es). A Irouio o e Work o Pierre Bourieu: te praie o eory. Loo:Mamilla Press; 1990. p. 13.  4 InSIght And ExchAngE: A evaluaio o e Wellome trus’s Siar proramme Economic capital Te amount o money available troug Sciart to supportiniviual arts projects was seen by artists an arts promotersas quite substantial, an te scale o te uning oere (ascompare wit oter arts grants scemes) a immeiatelyencourage a ig volume o project submissions. Teeistence o Sciart uning a unoubtely a a signicantinfuence on te genesis an/or te evelopment o manyprojects. Oten Sciart R&d Awars a acte as see uning,enabling te projects to evelop to a point were oter unersa been encourage to invest in teir continuance. Te igvalue o Sciart Prouction Awars a enable a greater tanusual scale o ambition to be consiere an realise by artistsan arts proucers, an a elpe to militate against a senseo nancial isparity tat was perceive to eist between tearts an te sciences. Artists’ career opportunities were otenenance troug participation in Sciart projects. however,tere was also a strong sense tat artists were oten notaequately remunerate or teir input into projects.  Aestetic capital hig-quality aestetic outcomes were oun to ave resulterom a signicant proportion o te projects une by teSciart sceme. A review o te artistic outcomes o ten casestuy projects evience wiesprea issemination to sizeableauiences, an unusual longevity o auience an proessionalinterest, an positive meia an critical review. Te venuesor isplay – wic migt be artistic, scientic, meical an/oristorical – inevitably infuence te ‘aestetic’ reception o tework. A signicant minority o responents (particularly romte arts sector) epresse concern about te instrumentalisationo te arts in te service o biomeical science, wic te Trustwas elt to ave contribute to. Some artists were concernetat uning te arts or reasons tat were not principally to owit te arts coul ave a etrimental impact on te generalevelopment o arts practice. Several interviewees reerre toinstances o wat tey escribe as ‘inautentic’ arts projectstat tey elt a resulte rom artists casing Sciart uning. Scientic capital Te communication o scientic researc an ieas, an ogeneral messages about te scientic proession, was elt toave been acieve by a signicant number o Sciart-uneprojects. It was not generally elt, owever, tat Sciart projectsa contribute to a sit or evelopment in scientic processesor outcomes. Sciart a elpe to more closely connectte cultures o art an science, toug tis connection wasperceive to ave a greater benets or te arts tan orscience. Scientists oten commente tat teir involvementin Sciart projects a elpe to generate a more refeiveawareness o te wier contet or teir work. A number oscientists also testie tat teir involvement wit artists aencourage tem to aopt a more speculative approac toteir researc an as a result o participating in Sciart projectssome scientists elt tat tey were more prepare to take risks.Working alongsie te arts a elpe to make science moreaccessible to te public, an a tus improve scienticcommunication. It was suggeste tat artists a, in somecases, elpe to improve a perceive ‘image problem’ascribe to scientists an to te scientic proession. Etical capital  Artists working on Sciart projects were elt to ave acte as aproy or te public, opening up scientic practices to a wiergaze. By bringing into te public omain new perspectives onte work tat was being conucte in laboratories an oterplaces o science, it was suggeste tat artists were, in eect,acting as te ‘public’s representative’. A signicant aspect ote artists’ contribution to ‘public engagement wit science’was tus as inepenent scrutinisers – asking questions anprovoking insigts tat migt not oterwise be possible, eiterrom te perspective o te general public or rom witin tescientic community itsel. Catalytic capital Tere was a strong perception tat Sciart a elpe to removete barriers to cross-isciplinary collaboration an a maeit easier or more arts–science collaborations to appen in teuture. Tis was partly because o te legacy o eample tatit a given rise to. Tere were reputational benets bot toartists an to scientists rom aving teir activities une byte Wellcome Trust. Tere was also clear evience o Sciartbeing a catalyst or ongoing collaborations an innovations.Many o te new collaborations tat a emerge uring Sciart’sliespan a been sustaine well beyon te initial perio ouning. It was clear tat Sciart uning a incentivise asignicant number o artists to orient teir practice towars tesciences, peraps or te rst time. Tis was a mie blessingas it was elt to ave encourage ‘inautentic’ proposalsrom some artists. As well as ostering an incubating newcollaborations between artists an scientists, Sciart uning abeen te catalyst or many oter new relationsips to evelop:wit arts promoters an arts venues, wit colleagues an peers,an wit public an proessional auiences. Personal capital  A number o personal gains were reporte. A signicant minorityo te science interviewees reporte tat working wit an artista enable tem to reiscover a creative imension tat a,to some egree, been ‘sacrice’ because o te proessionalprotocols an conventions tat were involve in being ascientist. Some o te scientists sai tat teir participationin a Sciart project a represente a signicant milestone tata a prooun an positive eects on eiter teir careerevelopment or teir personal an proessional sense o sel.In some cases, scientists a become active collaboratorsin te artistic process, wic a le to a personal sense oacievement. Artists a elt stimulate an callenge by teopportunity to work wit scientists an witin scientic contets,an a oten emerge rom Sciart projects eeling moreconent about teir proessional capabilities an staning Social capital Many o tose questione elt tat te lure o Sciart uninga provie a positive incentive an stimulus or artists to enterinto eploratory iscussions an more ocuse negotiations witscientists. Many o te proessional an social relationsips tatbegan as science an art collaborations a continue ater teSciart uning a stoppe. Te Sciart sceme itsel an teiscursive events organise aroun it a provie a valuablemeeting point, elt previously to ave been lacking, arounwic a community o people wit an interest in te sciencean art el were able to come togeter. A number o Sciart
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