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Art, Science & Technology: Transdisciplinary Connections


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Arts and Culture: Art History, research master Arts and Culture, research master Arts, Literature and Media or the MSc Biomedical Sciences. If needed, these students take priority.
MA students from other faculties are also welcome to apply. Please contact the study adviser to see if there are places left.


In this course students examine humanistic and social dimensions of knowledge production at the intersection of science, technology and the arts. From the onset of investigations in natural sciences and medical research in history, the cultural worlds of art and science have interacted. More recently, artists have been directly inspired by genetic and biomedical sciences, environmental studies, as well as by developments in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies. Innovations within life sciences, such as organ transplantation, artificial wombs and other reproductive technologies, new methods of making vaccines, employment of predictive analytics and others are highly promising and often life-saving. Yet, the ways they are generated and put into practice deserve rigorous societal evaluation. The science-art relationship has become an exciting and dynamic field where controversial ethical issues, societal consequences of science, and the art of science itself are being addressed. The increasing support of specialized knowledge leaves underexplored the vast terrain of issues in between the individual disciplines. Among the few spaces to have a public dialogue across the fields are also museums and galleries. We will address the following questions: What methodological approaches do artists and scientists have in common? How are images and imagination used in life sciences and how do they participate in the production of knowledge? What moral and critical dilemmas are involved in the intersections between science, technology and society and which role can art play in this?

Course objectives

The student will:

  • gain insights into social and cultural consequences of (life) sciences and technologies by study of art works;

  • be able to signal ethical issues and controversies in science addressed by art;

  • learn to identify the challenges and opportunities in research across the disciplinary divides;

  • be able to evaluate the role of art in the work of science museums;

  • broaden his/her perspective on science by working in interdisciplinary groups of Science and Art students.

  • will be given an opportunity to articulate their moral attitudes, and explore during meetings other reasoned arguments that challenge their existing assumptions and ethical positions.


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

  • Excursion

  • Laboratory practical

Assessment method


Art History students (10 EC)

  • participation in discussions, presentations and reports site visits (25%);

  • presentation of proposal for digital exhibition (25%);

  • written paper of 4500 words (50%).

  • each ResMA student must fulfil an extra assignment per course, in order to demonstrate their ability to work with more advanced theoretical and disciplinary questions beyond the normal MA level, to be decided by lecturer and student.

Biomedical Sciences and other students of non-Humanities majors (5 EC)
For biomedical science and non-Humanities students, the course load is distributed as follows:

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • Workgroups: 3 hours per week x 13 weeks = 39 hours;

  • Site visits = 12 hours;

  • Practical work = 24 hours;

  • Preparation and presentation of proposal digital exhibition = 25 hours

  • Preparation and writing paper = 40 hours
    Biomedical science students will be assessed as follows:

  • participation in discussions and assignment preparations (25%);

  • presentation of proposal for digital exhibition (25%);

  • written paper of 1000 words (50%).


The final grade is the average of the three grades (25%, 25%, 50%). A student passes the course if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.


Only written paper can be resubmitted.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be made available through Brightspace.



Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal