NOMIS is a private Swiss foundation that supports insight-driven scientific endeavours across all disciplines, placing particular emphasis on the researcher. The NOMIS Foundation seeks to “create a spark” in the world of science by funding highly innovative, ground-breaking research in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. (excerpt from NOMIS website, 2017).
CA-NOMIS project team 2017 at Max Planck Institute, Leipzig
At work in the CA / Media Lab at the Lucerne School of Art and Design.
In order to introduce the 2017 NOMIS Award winners to the audience of the NOMIS conference on October 19th, 2017 – and to a wider audience through the NOMIS website –, Camera Arts students and lecturers have created a visual storytelling format, which links together the laureates while contextualizing each within their field and within the sciences in general. This transmedia format is designed in a way that allows for expansion, adding and connecting laureates of the years to come.
Central to this portrait series is the connection of scientific work and ‘daily life.’ Each scientist will be visited in their own day-to-day environment, from home to work place to (glimpses of) their social and leisure activities. The underlying idea is that scientific research, like all work, is not an isolated activity, but fully integrated in the life of the scientists and their social and physical habitat.
Selected students and CA staff are working together in a mentored extra-curricular practice project. Students have responsibilities and carry out tasks in which they are coached and supported by staff.
The 2017 CA NOMIS-team were (from left to right):
Olivia Sasse (CA alumna 2017)
Severin Pomsel (CA 2nd year)
Anja Stadelmann (CA 3rd year)
Uwe Martin (Film and moving image, post-production / Senior lecturer CA)
Max Bruinsma (Supervising editor / Senior lecturer CA)
Evert Ypma (Project concept and management / CA program leader)
Frederic Siegel (Independent animator, Zurich)
Stefan Weinzierl (Independent sound artist and performer, Hamburg)
The four scientists that were portrayed for the 2017 series are working at the intersections of genetics, neuroscience, paleoarcheology and humanities.
All biographies of the scientists are from NOMIS website (2017).
Tony Wyss-Coray, Stanford University, California. Receiver of the NOMIS Award 2017
Biography Tony Wyss-CorayTony Wyss-Coray, professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University, California, investigates the role of immune responses in brain aging and neurodegeneration with a focus on cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. His most recent studies have shown that circulatory factors can modulate neurogenesis, neuroimmunity and cognitive function in mice and that blood-derived factors from young mice or humans can rejuvenate the aging mouse brain. The Wyss-Coray lab is now trying to understand the molecular basis of this systemic communication with the brain by employing a combination of omics approaches and through the development of bioorthogonal tools for the in vivo labeling of proteins. Continue reading
Video portrait Tony Wyss-Coray
Karl Deisseroth, Stanford University, California. Receiver of the NOMIS Award 2017.
Biography Karl Deisseroth Karl Deisseroth is D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University, California. He has been credited with developing and implementing an approach to biology called optogenetics, a technique that involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels. Among other advances in laboratory neuroscience techniques, his research has led to thousands of major discoveries regarding the causal underpinnings of complex behavior. But while optics-based discovery of causal mechanisms in animals has been successful, little work has succeeded in revealing brain-wide patterns and underlying causal principles in humans. Continue reading
Video portrait Karl Deisseroth
Svante Pääbo, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig. Receiver of the NOMIS Award 2017.
Biography Svante PääboSvante Pääbo, director of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, is one of the founders of paleogenetics and became best known for his pioneering research on the Neandertal genome. His interest in molecular biology, molecular genetics and Egyptology were the reason for his efforts to clone nuclear DNA from an Egyptian mummy as early as 1985, which established him in the field of evolutionary genetics at a very young age. In 2009, he and his team had completed the first draft of the Neandertal genome, opening up a whole new field of research into the history of modern humans. Continue reading
Video portrait Svante Pääbo
Manos Tsakiris, Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Receiver of the NOMIS Award 2016.
Biography Manos TsakirisManos Tsakiris has been named the first recipient of the NOMIS Distinguished Scientists and Scholars Award. As part of the award and in line with the interdisciplinary vision of the NOMIS Foundation, Tsakiris will lead and develop the Body and Image in Arts and Sciences (BIAS) project at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London. The Warburg Institute is a world-famous institution for the study of cultural history and the role of images in culture, renowned for its cross-disciplinary approach and global reach. The BIAS project aims to address timely research questions at the intersection of the sciences and humanities with a particular focus on the biological mechanisms and cultural factors that shape our relationships to other people in a culture powered by images. In line with Warburg Director David Freedberg’s commitment to building bridges across the boundaries between the humanities, arts and sciences, BIAS seeks to engage with epistemological differences in order to forge new and innovative synergies across the disciplines. Continue reading
Video portrait Manos Tsakiris
Team meeting in Stanford. Max Bruinsma, 2017
San Francisco. Severin Pomsel, 2017
Beyond the immediate interest of CA to experiment with photographic media and visual storytelling, this long-term collaboration project with the NOMIS Foundation also opens up a wider potential within the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences – School of Art and Design. The project calls for the engagement of video and film, animation and illustrative visual strategies that are needed to communicate complex information towards non-professionals and professionals. After the first production the project will be developed further in the context of the CA / media lab, focusing also on its potential within the broader context of the communication of science and knowledge.
Some special thanks go to Nathaly Bachmann, Essence Relations, Zurich / Bern who established the initial contact between NOMIS and CA.
Markus Reinhard, Managing director NOMIS Foundation, Zurich
Cosima Crawford, NOMIS Foundation, Zurich
Ursula Fricke, NOMIS Foundation, Zurich
Nathaly Bachmann, Essence Relations, Zurich / Bern
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, School of Art and Design:
CA / NOMIS Team 2017 (see above)
Gabriela Christen, Dean
Martin Wiedmer, Vice-director
Orlando Budelacci, Vice-director
Vivien Thu My Luong, Research Coordinator, Research Department