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SEAD gathering at National Academies
A SEAD Working Group meeting was hosted by the National Academies in Washington DC. on February 2, 2016. Participants reviewed and shared emerging trends and issues since the NSF/NEA/NEH/Smithsonian hosted workshops that led to the Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design (SEAD) report, published in 2015 as "Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation" (MIT Press, 2015).


SEAD New Voices at College Art Association Conference 2016
Cultivating an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation through Collaborations
among Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design

Roger F. Malina, SEAD / Leonardo / University of Texas Dallas;
Carol Strohecker, SEAD Co-PI / Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Collaboration and Partnership
Laurie Baefsky, ArtsEngine / a2ru / University of Michigan

Learning and Education
Nettrice Gaskins, STEAM Lab, Boston Arts Academy

Research and Creative Work
Jichen Zhu, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University

Culture and Economic Development
Nickolay Hristov, Biological Sciences, Winston-Salem State University

Carol LaFayette, SEAD PI / Department of Visualization, Texas A&M University;
Robert Thill, SEAD / The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Successful collaborations among scientists, engineers, artists, designers, and humanities researchers are demonstrating their potential to mitigate the challenging societal, economic, and cultural concerns of our times, known as “grand challenges.” A growing network of transdisciplinary collaborators, SEAD is premised on the assertion that solving complex problems requires multiple perspectives. This CAA session convened members of the SEAD network and invited new voices to discuss the four areas of advocacy identified in the network’s statement of purpose: culture and economic development, research and creative work, learning and education, and collaboration and partnership. Session participants considered this framing for advocacy and suggested specific actions to further enable such cross-cutting work. Outcomes of the SEAD White Paper initiative informed the discussion, referencing research by 200 contributors globally that became the basis of an NSF-funded report and an MIT Press e-book. Additionally, a 5-year update draft report was also included.


Robert Root-Bernstein on Evidence
One of the areas requiring attention identified in the SEAD report was the need to synthesize the varieties of evidence that motivate recommendations to invest in SEAD objectives. As part of this activity, Robert Root-Bernstein and Ania Pathak, Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, have been conducting a meta-analysis of existing studies. Robert Root Bernstein provided an overview of the draft paper at the SEAD Working Group meeting February 2, 2016, in Washington D.C. at the National Academy of Sciences. He solicits your comments and suggestions as he and Ania Pathak finalize and publish this study. If you are aware of other studies or compilations that should be included in this analysis, please email us. You can listen to his presentation below. A 3-part draft is available here: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Root-Bernstein at SEAD Working Group meeting, February 2016, Washington DC,
National Academy of Sciences. Moderated by Roger Malina. Comments from: Nettrice Gaskins,
Boston Art Academy; Lucinda Presley, Innovation Collaborative; Margaret Honey, New York Hall of Science; Kathi R. Levin, National Art Education Association; Tom Rudin, National Academy of Sciences; and Denise Mullen, Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design and Oregon College of Art and Craft.


ICT ARTS CNECT Study and Round table events A study by ICT Arts Connect in the EU closely parallels the SEAD White Papers report. The study was first presented at BOZAR Electronic Arts Symposium in Brussels. In attendance were Carol Strohecker, Ph.D., SEAD coPI, and Bill O'Brien, Senior Advisor for Program Innovation, National Endowment for the Arts. Past activities on the contributions of artistic practices to innovative ICT developments demonstrated the worldwide emergence of communities of hybrid researchers. These researchers develop new technological applications responding to specificities of artistic creativity, creating potential for innovation outside the original scope. The recognition of these emergences by the European Commission led to the launching of the ICT ART CNECT study, in order to characterize and connect artistic communities of ICT researchers at all levels, including institutions, companies and individuals. The study is creating a map of individuals and institutions engaged in artistic practices within ICT research projects in Europe and world-wide. It will analyse best practices to enhance interaction between artists-researchers and other IT experts and to increase the impact of these interactions on innovation and creativity in Europe. It will not only analyse success stories but also it will identify primary needs and demands. ICT ART CNECT has organized a number of round-tables in the most relevant conferences in the field during 2015: 4th Computer Art Congress, 1-3 September, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Ars Electronica, 4-8 September, Linz, Austria and ArtsIT - Fourth International Conference on Arts and Technology, 10-12 November, Istanbul, Turkey.


SEAD White Papers authors at Yokohama Conference
Fostering Trans-Disciplinarity amongst the Social and Natural Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Design, July 2014, at the XVIII World Conference of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan. In a session led by Benjamín Tejerina Montana and Cristina Miranda de Almeida, authors presented the results of the Open Call for White Papers received from 24 countries. They summarized a meta-view of needs, opportunities and recommendations concerning transdisciplinary collaboration in the confluence of the Sciences, Engineering, Arts and Design. The session invited inquiry from other researchers. In addition to presenting a first set of pre-selected papers that focus on different models and case studies for transdisciplinarity in research and in creative practice, the session welcomed new papers.


Media Systems workshop videos
Led by PI Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Media Systems workshops sought to catalyze major progress in how we create and understand the computational systems that drive interactive media. The workshops convened a set of field leaders who have been working across the boundaries of media-focused computer science, the digital humanities, and the digital arts. This was supported by an unprecedented group of partners: the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and both Microsoft Research and Microsoft Studios. Speakers included Ian Horswill, Nick Montfort, Ian Bogost, Mary Lou Maher, Anne Balsamo, and Fox Harrell. See the blog.


SEAD members assist Cultural District designation
Historic Downtown Bryan, Texas, a rural community, is among the state's newest Cultural Districts, a distinction awarded to select cities by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Cultural districts are special zones that harness the power of cultural resources to stimulate economic development and community revitalization. Thanks to Joan and Jose Quintana and others at Advent GX, Bryan is home to the first SEAD Gallery, summer SEAD academy, Distributed Urban Farming Initiative (DUFi), and Innovation Underground. AdventGX has greatly contributed to a vibrant, diverse community that nurtures cultural and economic growth. The Quintanas' SEAD White Paper identifies gaps, studied best practices and evaluated tools for their potential application to rural settings.


Our mission is very simple: To democratize the pursuit of knowledge and drive scientific endeavor. We hope to achieve this by harnessing the power of the people! Crowdsourcing the information, financial, scientific, and human resources needed to enable new discoveries. We've created a free and open online network to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing, that will fan the flame of curiosity that's inherent within us all.


SEAD White Papers at RENEW, Media Art Histories 2013, Riga, Latvia
"Paradigm Shifts in Art/Science Education and Practice" was chaired by White Papers Steering Committee member Nina Czegledy.


Networking Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design to Confront the Hard Problems of Our Time
NEA+Smithsonian+NSF-SEAD conference, May 16, 2013
The NSF-sponsored SEAD network co-hosted a conference on May 16, 2013, with The Smithsonian Institution, including a luncheon sponsored by The National Endowment for the Arts.


On the need for SEAD: Remaking Research Symposium
Hosted by Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), Remaking Research was a "working symposium" centered on the pragmatics and possibilities of creative practice as research, both within art and design institutions and in the context of interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and partnered relations. The event took place November 1- 3, 2012 at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, BC.

Presentation by SEAD CoPI Carol Strohecker, Director, Center for Design Innovation, University of North Carolina system; Professor, Winston-Salem State University; Chief Research Officer & Instructor, UNC School of the Arts

Presentation by Pamela Jennings, Former NSF SEAD/XSEAD PD; Director of the Brenda and Earl Shapiro Centers for Research and Collaboration; School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Art and Science Updates
The National Endowment for the Arts hosted a conversation on the Art Works blog around the intersection of art, science, creativity, and innovation that featured posts by arts/science enthusiasts Roger Malina, Marina McDougall, Andrea Grover, Whitney Dail, and Bill O’Brien; and a podcast featuring author and Wired contributing editor Jonah Lehrer. The posts cover a range of subjects, from how creativity works to the nature of arts as a form of inquiry to the idea of using art-driven systems to better understand medical conditions, demonstrating the striking similarities between artist and scientist in their approach to understanding and interacting with our world. If you are interested in learning more about how the NEA can support art/science projects in the future please join the mailing list by emailing