“When excellence comes to excellence, and is sparked, there’s just nothing like that!” In this video, Liz Lerman discusses the innovative convergence of dance and science at Wesleyan University:
Many of you know that Wesleyan was the lead commissioner of Liz Lerman’s Ferocious Beauty: Genome, her groundbreaking work about the repercussions of genetic research. One of Liz’s Wesleyan collaborators, Professor of Biology Michael Weir, wrote to her after the world premiere with an idea:
“Imagine a biology or genetics course that begins and ends with students experiencing [the Ferocious Beauty: Genome] piece, and imagine during the semester, when issues like Mendel or gene regulation or bioethics are covered, related parts of the piece were shown to the class. I am imagining that this experience would cause many students to build a new kind of framework in their minds causing them to be more inquisitive and thoughtful about the biology and its significance. They would make associations with the choreography and dance, and I wonder whether their thinking would be qualitatively richer?”
Five years later, with the support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Wesleyan and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange developed Science Choreography – a website that’s a digital textbook with a plethora of tools for teachers who are teaching genetics, evolution and other related issues.
Liz Lerman and Elizabeth Johnson from the Dance Exchange, and Laura Grabel, Michael Weir, and Laurel Appel from Wesleyan’s Biology Department are discussing Science Choreography as part of the Hughes Program‘s special summer symposium in the Life Sciences.