Discovery Lecture

Discovery Lecture

Categories: General | Intended for

Monday, March 02, 2020

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Add to calendar

Richcraft Building

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Jessie Cartwright, 61352026008760,



About this Event

Host Organization: Office of the Dean of Science
More Information: Please click here for additional details.

Guest Lecturer: Francesca Casadio

Francesca Casadio is the founder of the scientific research laboratory at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she currently holds the post of Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Science. In this capacity she leads a team of over thirty specialists for objects, paintings, frames, works on paper, photographs, books, other printed materials, textiles, time-based media, and scientific research. Francesca is also the founding member and co-director of the Northwestern University / Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS).

Francesca received her PhD and MS degrees in Chemistry from the University of Milan, Italy and in 2019 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne University in Paris. Casadio has authored and edited several publications in the scientific and conservation literature, including edited books and essays in museum catalogs. She’s passionate about communicating the work of conservators and scientists to the public, students, and the media. In 2006 she was the recipient of the L’Oréal Art and Science of Color Silver Prize.


The practice of studying works of art with the tools of science goes back several centuries. Yet, it is only in the 20th century that a true field, that of heritage science, has developed and matured, with scientists in museums, cultural institutions, academia and large-scale facilities applying the most cutting edge scientific techniques to priceless works of art, resulting in publications, scientific conferences, museum displays and a prominent space in the media.

Drawing examples from her own experience as a scientist in an art museum, and on years of scientific research on the creative process of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in this lecture, Francesa Casadio will explore how this inter- and transdisciplinary practice stimulates new questions, nurtures a diversity of thoughts and interpretations, and interrogates objects in new ways allowing to surface unwritten histories.

Ultimately, Casadio will demonstrate how close encounters in art and science at the museum can increase our sense of empathy with artists as makers, and with each other, allowing visitors to relate to the human experience of creating art and the process of searching for meaning by exploring our global material culture.

1The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, USA

The Faculty of Science hosts public lectures during the academic year that address a scientific issue of the day as well as bring to campus well-known scientists from around the world.

Established in 2002, the Discovery Lecture is designed to showcase and promote excellence in science journalism. The lecture is sponsored jointly by the Faculty of Science and the School of Journalism.

The lecture is held annually in the winter semester and is free and open to the public.