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FRIB to Host ‘Physics in Concert with the Arts’

Exterior of Facility for Rare Isotope Beams showing outdoor artwork in grass out front
Agnes Mocsy headshot

Theoretical physicist and documentary filmmaker Ágnes Mócsy

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at MSU hosts theoretical physicist and filmmaker Ágnes Mócsy on 28 February for a talk titled “Physics in Concert with the Arts.” Part of FRIB’s Advanced Studies Gateway initiative, the free public event is at 5:30 p.m. in 1300 FRIB Laboratory.

Mócsy is a professor of physics and astronomy at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and documentary filmmaker of Smashing Matters: Behind the Science Scene. The documentary explores the value of fundamental research, like what is performed at FRIB.

The “Physics in Concert with the Arts” presentation will explore the complicated and often-unexpected relationship between physics and the arts. This relationship provides opportunities for storytelling, such as physics narratives embedded in a wider culture and interdisciplinary explorations.

“I will also argue that science acting in concert with the arts can deliver benefits beyond science communication, addressing questions of social justice, influencing a more equitable world,” said Mócsy.

“We are so pleased to have Ágnes speak as part of the Advanced Studies Gateway program,” said FRIB Professor of Physics Dean Lee, who leads FRIB’s Advanced Studies Gateway initiative. “Her talk will be compelling for a broad audience, especially those interested in the intersections of science, art, and communications. We invite the MSU and Greater Lansing community to join us for this exciting presentation.”

Mócsy is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Yale Presidential Visiting Fellow 2018–2019. Previously, she held positions at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, NY in the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research-BNL Center. She held visiting appointments at École Polytechnique/Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Comission Saclay in Paris, France, and at Wright Laboratory in the physics department at Yale University. Mócsy made significant contributions in high energy nuclear physics, particularly in the theory and phenomenology of strong interactions, investigating how matter formed microseconds after the Big Bang. Her current research explores the intersection and deep connection of science and the arts, and that of the gender and racial landscape and inclusivity in science and beyond. She has written for the Huffington Post, collaborates with artists in various mediums, designs novel ways for physics education, produced and performed science-inspired fashion and art shows, and is a public science communicator.

Additional information about Mócsy can be found online at the following links:

· Smashing Matters: Behind the Science Scene (trailer)

· The Lone Genius Paradigm and Our Infatuation with Intellectual Heroes

· Ágnes Mócsy website

The Advanced Studies Gateway is an initiative at FRIB that brings together researchers, innovators, creative thinkers, artists, and performers from all fields and strengthens ties between Michigan State University and the community. Activities include research workshops as well as public talks, concerts, and special events that are free and open to the public. For information about accessible accommodations and the Advanced Studies Gateway at FRIB, visit frib.msu.edu/gateway.

Karen King – FRIB Communications

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