In 2017, Professor Jamie Rossjohn developed scientific outreach activities that embrace those in the community that are disadvantaged; namely he engaged the National Disability Network/Job Access/Vision Australia to employ people in his laboratory with disabilities. Within this initiative, Jamie has employed a project officer/artist in residence, Erica Tandori.
Erica is a legally blind artist, researcher and academic, exploring the intersection between art, vision loss and science. She was diagnosed with a form of juvenile macular dystrophy at the age of 23, while in her first year of art school. Erica’s PhD focused on capturing the entoptic effects of macular dystrophy through art, conveying an ‘eye-witness’ account of blindness.
As artist in residence, she is generating tactile displays and multi-sensory, multimodal artworks that makes science including Jamie’s research accessible to the low vision and blind community. Jamie and Erica have hosted a number of Sensory Science exhibitions nationally covering the fields of immunity, vision and cancer.
The Monash Sensory Science team have been recognised for their contributions to Diversity and Inclusion: Winner of the Monash University 2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity and Inclusion Award, Finalist of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for STEM Inclusion 2019 and 2020 Breakthrough of the Year Finalist at the Falling Walls Conference and Berlin Science Week.
Read coverage of this work:
The Age: Science relies on light. What about people who can’t see?
The ARC: Australian Laureate Fellow launches Sensory Scientific Exhibition and Discovery day
The BDI: Bringing the magic of biomedical research to the low vision community
ASBMB (USA): Unravelling the mind’s eye – science through a novel lens
We will be expanding these Sensory Science exhibitions and bringing them to schools. If you are interested in having us come to your school, please send us an enquiry at Contact Us.
Watch videos of our Sensory Science exhibitions as we create multi-sensory and multimodal artworks to communicate current biomedical research to blind and low vision audiences.