National Science Foundation, Grant No. 1142510, IIS, Human Centered Computing.
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SEAD Session at the Career Issues in Art and Design Conference 2016
The Career Issues in Art and Design Conference, hosted by Parsons School of Design at The New School, addressed future directions for underserved creatives. SEAD network participant Robert Thill led a session presenting SEAD’s goals and advocacy, discussing opportunities and challenges in transdisciplinary practices, and seeking recommendations for inclusive SEAD exemplars. Attendees were comprised of representatives in a variety of roles at research universities, independent colleges of art and design, and liberal arts colleges. For more information, including the agenda and contextual reports, see the conference website.


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

Chairs: 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 (left)

Learning and Education
Nettrice Gaskins, STEAM Lab, Boston Arts Academy (center left)

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

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

Discussants: 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.

National Academies Launch Formal Study

The National Academiesof Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is in the planning phase of a project that will examine the value of incorporating curricula and experiences in the arts and humanities–-including history, literature, language, philosophy, and the arts-–into college and university STEM education and workforce training programs, and understanding whether and how these experiences: 1) prepare STEM students and workers to be more effective communicators, critical thinkers, problem-solvers and leaders; and 2) prepare STEM graduates to be more creative and effective scientists, engineers, technologists and health care providers. The Academies also hope to examine the value of integrating more STEM curricula and experiences into the academic programs of students who are majoring in the humanities, arts and related disciplines. One long-term goal is to understand whether and how a more integrated liberal arts curriculum can better prepare students for success as both citizens and workers, and help prepare them to responsibly address the most compelling grand challenges facing our society, such as global stewardship, health care for our youngest and oldest citizens, and gene editing. At a workshop in Washington DC, December 2, 2015, NAS declared the study underway. The duration is expected to be 2 years. This initiative is chaired by Thomas Rudin, Director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read more...


SEAD White Papers Synthesis Report
In 2012, SEAD launched a White Papers initiative to build community awareness of perceived challenges and opportunities for transdisciplinary collaboration. The synthesis report, Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation, offers a set of "action clusters" common to texts from the international response by SEAD members. Suggested Actions are structured according to similarities of motivation and purpose, and addressed to specific stakeholders. The synthesis report is published by MIT Press / ISAST with a Creative Commons license. The SEAD White Papers initiative was chaired by Roger Malina and co-chaired by Carol Strohecker, with the assistance of an international Steering Group and coordination by Carol LaFayette and Amy Ione, Managing Editor.


National Academies 2015 Keck Futures Initiative on art, science, medicine, and engineering
In November, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative "Conference on Art and Science, Engineering, and Medicine Frontier Collaborations: Ideation, Translation & Realization" gathered a diverse group of participants to explore how arts, design, sciences, engineering, and medicine can stimulate a renaissance of innovation. It was the first time artists and designers were invited to join the Keck Futures conference, in a think-tank format addressing global challenges through collaboration. Read a summary by steering committee member Nicola Triscott.