We’re delighted to introduce the 15 Early Career Researchers who have been selected to present their cutting edge research at the AHRC Science in Culture Theme Ignite event on 26th March 2014. The event will be held at the Natural History Museum and limited tickets are still available.

The seventh Science in Culture Theme Ignite Speaker is:

DR JOHANNA KIENIEWICZ, The British Library, ‘Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight’

JKHeadshotIn the spirit of Ignite can you describe your topic in 140 characters?

Beautiful Science exhibition @britishlibrary—Picturing scientific data, past & present. What we’ve learned, why it matters #dataviz #histsci

What would you like people to take away from your Ignite talk?

To decide they should come to see Beautiful Science at the British Library!

  • Appreciate the ways in which today’s data visualisations and infographics draw on a fantastic heritage of much earlier work.
  • Appreciate the impact that good graphics can have upon the communication of scientific ideas and information

How did you get involved in interdisciplinary research across Sciences and Arts and Humanities?

As an earth science PhD student working on an archaeological project, I first encountered the benefits of interdisciplinary working. Since then, I’ve sought out interdisciplinary collaborations and even spent time in art school. The British Library is an institution that spans the arts and sciences – so for me, the fit is a natural one. Over the course of developing the Beautiful Science exhibition, I worked closely with historians and designers, whose insights proved invaluable.

Tell us a bit about your academic background.

I am trained as a geoscientist and for my PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences (Washington University in St Louis, 2007), I worked with an archeological project in the Western Desert of Egypt, exploring environmental change and human habitation in North Africa. After a couple of years in a tenure track position at a US university, I took a diversion into art, spending a year at Central St Martins. I have now been in the British Library’s science team for 3.5 years in a role that brings together my interests in research and engagement, and am particularly interested in collaborations linking the arts and sciences.

A film of Dr Johanna Kieniewicz’s presentation at the AHRC Science in Culture Theme Ignite event is available here.