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Film portraits of NOMIS Distinguished Scientist and Scholar Award 2018

A collaboration between NOMIS Foundation and Camera Arts on visual storytelling

The NOMIS Distinguished Scientist and Scholar Award is presented to exceptional scientists, supporting them in their exploration of unconventional academic paths, thereby inciting new directions in science. The foundation rewards innovative ideas and approaches that involve interdisciplinary collaboration and apply a broad range of methods, building bridges across the boundaries of the sciences and humanities.


Top photo series:
Meeting and working together with Dr. Prof. Didier Fassin, anthropologist and sociologist at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Visual storytelling about scientists and scientific information

As part of the award ceremony on October 4th in the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich, three film portraits will be shown, each of them presenting one of the NOMIS Distinguished Scientists 2018.

The films have been created by students and alumni of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, School of Arts and Design, Switzerland. Next to a brief overview of the research, they provide a portrait of each scientist that shows them in their specific, personal environment, where they work and develop ideas and new thoughts.

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.

The film production offers a unique opportunity for the students and young professionals to develop their own conceptual and visual approaches towards research and scientific knowledge as a genre of contemporary visual storytelling. By focusing on the personalities behind the research, the makers highlight the researcher’s motives and inspirations. The students have been responsible for the preparation, research, concept, interviews, filming and the post-production of the films, and are coached by supervisors.

Three film portraits of NOMIS Distinguished Scientists 2018 and a portrait of the NOMIS Center at Salk Institute, San Diego:

Victoria Orphan is the James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science and Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, United States.

Don Cleveland is a cancer biologist and neurobiologist at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego, United States

Didier Fassin is an anthropologist and sociologist at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, United States.

Additionally, an institutional film portrait of the NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, United States, has been made. In this film, Susan Kaech, NOMIS Foundation Chair and director of the NOMIS center explains her own research at the institute as well as the projects undertaken by her senior team members.



CA NOMIS Team 2018

Film portraits have been commissioned by the NOMIS Foundation in Zurich to Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, School of Art and Design, BA in Visual Communication – Camera Arts.

CA NOMIS team 2018: Nadine Häusler, Severin Pomsel, Riccarda Schwarz, Zoé Buess, Christian Gropper, Max Bruinsma, Evert Ypma

Preparation, research, interviews, filming, editing and post-production:
Nadine Häusler (Alumna HSLU, Video)
Riccarda Schwarz (Alumna HSLU, Video)
Severin Pomsel (Student HSLU, Camera Arts)
Zoé Buess (Student HSLU, Video)
Animation: Igor Kuzmic (Student HSLU Animation)
Music and sound design: Melvyn Buss
Sound mastering: Daniel Bleuer (Student Animation)
Color grading: Vasco Estermann (Alumnus Video)

Supervising editor, research, concept: Max Bruinsma (Amsterdam)
Supervising film maker, post-production: Christian Gropper (Darmstadt)
Producer: Evert Ypma (HSLU / Zurich)

© 2018, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Salk Institute, San Diego, designed by architect Louis Kahn in 1969.

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