My academic research focuses on the intersection of art and science, with a focus on astronomy and astrobiology. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, where I examine the recontextualization of art and science, and how transdisciplinary education may disrupt gender stereotypes. My research is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship and a Renata and Michal Hornstein Doctoral Fellowship.
My current research project Imagine Aliens is a creative space where astrobiology and exoplanet research connect with storytelling, art-making, and imagination. The project is fuelled by profound questions that have intrigued both artists and scientists throughout the ages: Are we alone in the universe? Is there Life beyond Earth? What may that Life look like?
The Imagine Aliens project uses data, concepts, and images from the world of science as creative prompts to spark the development of speculative fiction, concept art, sound art, and other forms of artistic expression. The aim of the project is to create a bridge between art and science in order to make the STEM field (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) more accessible to all.
Discover more at https://imaginealiens.com
Merging dualities: How convergence points in art and science can (re)engage women with the STEM field
Forget, B. (2021), Canadian Review of Art Education
How can the interweaving of knowledge silos help to engage girls who are becoming disinterested in science? This study describes how convergence points in research practices within the fields of art and science can mitigate gender stereotypes associated with the STEM field. A case study of four women working at the intersection of art and science revealed common aspects of their practices: an appreciation of the natural world, a sense of aesthetics, a drawing practice, and a reliance on meaningful research questions, suggesting that these can act as bridges between both fields of study.
Women With Impact: Taking One Small Step into the Universe
Forget, B. (2021), Leonardo
Out of 1,578 cataloged and named craters on the Moon, only 32 are named after women. That is a scant 2%. To highlight the underrepresentation of women in science, the author created two connected art projects. The initial project, Women With Impact, is a series of drawings of Moon craters named after women. Building on this oeuvre is One Small Step, a participatory project that invites prominent female astronomers to perform a meditative walk while wearing 3D-printed shoe soles that create a small Moon crater with each step.
Goethe’s Colour Theory: Optics and Visual Poetry
Forget, B. (2019), Antennae
What happens to the scientific process when mathematics is substituted with poetry? In the 18th century, the German poet and amateur scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe did just that in his quest to formulate his own theory of colour in his book Zur Farbenlehre. Goethe’s methodology of mixing qualitative and quantitative data did not prove fruitful in the development of science. However, Goethe’s interobjective, Romanticist philosophy of the Naturforscher may provide a scaffold for artists who are interested in scientific inquiry, and anyone who is interested in reflecting on the relationship of the human experience and nature.
Girls and Their Smartphones: Emergent Learning Through Apps That Enable
Forget, B. (2019), In: Castro J. (eds) Mobile Media In and Outside of the Art Classroom. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
In “Girls and Their Smartphones,” Forget addresses the question: Could a girl’s mobile device be integrated into an educational framework that promotes more active engagement with creativity and digital technology? Drawing from MonCoin interview data, Forget examines smartphone apps through the lens of complexity thinking and a student-based, constructivist teaching approach. She identifies a parallel between “constraints that enable” (Castro, 2007) and “apps that enable learning” (Gardner & Davis, 2013) through a critical examination of mobile app functionality. The qualities of “enabling apps” dovetail with the ways girls learn best, and they may also create an access ramp to digital technology and the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), an arena where women and girls are currently underrepresented.
The Social Organization of Students in Class Versus in an Online Social Network: Freedom and Constraint in Two Different Settings
Pariser, D., Forget, B. (2019), In: Castro J. (eds) Mobile Media In and Outside of the Art Classroom. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
In “The Social Organization of Students,” Pariser and Forget illustrate the variable effects of participating in both a physical and a virtual classroom and examine the students’ interactions with their classmates online as well as in person. The MonCoin curriculum’s closed social network gave students the chance to explore new “performances” of themselves as they explored and constructed their identities (Goffman in The presentation of self in everyday life. Anchor Books, New York, 1959). The students’ online and off line interactions generated revealing sociograms. These maps of interpersonal relationships offer significant potential benefits for teachers who aim to understand the social dynamics of their classrooms better.
Moon Colony: Taking STEAM into Outer Space
Forget, B. (2018), Canadian Art Teacher
This article presents highlights from Moon Colony, a STEAM Education workshop that was based on the idea of establishing a lunar outpost. This article briefly outlines the workshop’s structure and then explores the experiences of two workshop participants whose engagement with the STEAM framework provided particularly compelling insights. Rather than artificially adding art to an existing science and technology project, the workshop’s creative prompt acted as a starting point to explore ideas that organically interweave academic disciplines. True STEAM projects offer educators a compelling opportunity to disrupt disciplinary silos and create meaningful learning situations that foster innovation.