Campus Life

From the artist

If you've been on the ninth floor of Science Commons just outside the Synbridge space, a striking mural would likely have caught your attention. This mural was created by U of L master's student, Elijah Dueck (BSc '17), over three days especially for the Big Bang Weekend.

I was taken aback by the sheer amount of light flooding the ninth level. Before the Science Commons, there were late nights sequestered in the often dark and cozy corners of my past lab. Sure, we were on the eighth level of University Hall and had windows overlooking the west, yet that lab space was never meant to house a science lab and it truly felt like it, despite our best efforts to arrange our instruments and supplies in whatever rooms were made available to us. So, in all honesty, I was pretty overwhelmed when standing out in the open corridors of the new building, just staring up and looking at this big, blank glass wall I could draw on. In the Science Commons, I like how the concrete and glass corridors cut off abruptly before the day outside. After many quiet and subdued days in close confines, it is now the light that really strikes me, so the mural began with a perspective study of our new home.

The science… there is theory alongside legitimate nucleic acid and protein structures present, yet what I hope to have emphasized here is the physical and mental labour exerted upon conducting scientific inquiries. Although a lot of it does happen behind the eyes, research then requires a great amount of action – keeping a sequence of technically precise procedures in mind while moving from one instrument to the next. As science is concerned with causative interactions between physical bodies, so too are scientists moved. In the case of cardio, and before the Science Commons, it would not be an uncommon sight to see an assayer running flights of stairs as the equipment for an experiment was split across the seventh and eighth levels of UHall!

Therefore, with this mural I hope to have captured the quiet, yet essential, physicality underlying science. Often portrayed as a docile pursuit, merely requiring the use of pure intellect, science requires flesh and blood people to make discoveries.