ASCUS Art & Science is a non-profit organisation committed to bridging the gap between the arts and sciences. We work with partners and practitioners to create innovative trans-disciplinary projects to engage new and wider audiences and facilitate innovative public engagement with both fields
Who we are
ASCUS Art & Science is a non-profit volunteer organisation. Founded in 2008 and a registered non-profit company limited by guarantee since 2013, we are an organisation dedicated to building a community of artists, scientists, and other individuals interested in how art and science can engage new and wider audiences for both fields. ASCUS is neither an arts nor a scientific body, but an organisation dedicated to developing art-science intersections.
We aim to provide a joint platform for artists and scientists to work together on a diverse array of projects, including science communication, science and art collaborative practice, and trans-disciplinary research. ASCUS is based in Edinburgh, but serves as an established hub between like-minded organisations both nationally and internationally.
We believe the arts and sciences are both innovative fields that can benefit from exposure to a diversity of ideas. We want to foster unconventional thinking and build appreciation for, and participation in, the intersections between arts, science, and related fields.
As a leading advocate for art and science collaboration, we connect artists and scientists and facilitate the exchange of ideas. We create new opportunities for involving scientists and arts professionals with the aim of reaching new and wider audiences. We achieve this by partnering with organisations, institutions and individuals to create new points of access for people to engage with trans-disciplinary practice through our programme of art and science micro-residencies, events, workshops and exhibitions.
We provide a shared physical space for scientists, artists and the public to interact directly with the tools and ideas of science and art through DIY experimenting right here in our own ASCUS Lab.
Why are we called ASCUS?
An ascus also is type of cell found in lichen – itself a structure formed by a symbiosis of organisms from two very different kingdoms (fungi and plants), just as we are a symbiosis of artists and scientists. In lichen, the ascus is the place where spores are produced which then colonise new, barren areas of the world.