Visualizing Women in Science, Mathematics and Engineering
  • Home
  • Posters
  • Materials for Study
  • Biographies
  • Cool Links
  • The Design Team
  • Pam Davis-Kivelson

    This project grew out of a series of conversations between Pam Davis-Kivelson and Dusa McDuff about the scarcity of visual representations of women in science, and the importance of creating such representations in order to help girls and young women to imagine themselves in these careers. Prompted by these conversations, Davis-Kivelson began to interview female scientists and discovered that many of them felt isolated, as though they were excluded from the dominant scientific community. "I think it's incredibly important to respond to these real issues through visual thinking, giving women the opportunity to represent their lives over time. Even a static image like a poster permits other women to have a more concrete sense of what it is like to have a life in research, or in a lab," Davis-Kivelson explains. Davis-Kivelson has dedicated herself to this project for over five years, creating the posters which are featured in this website. She has endeavored to make them honest and positive. This work grows out of a career devoted to bridging the two cultures of liberal arts and science, which Davis-Kivelson has achieved by fostering professional and personal relationships with scientists, as well as by drawing on science as a source of inspiration and subject matter for her artwork. One example of Davis-Kivelson's fruitful collaboration with scientists is the Science Art Center at U.C.L.A., of which she is co-founder and co-director, along with physics professor Joseph Rudnick. The center is designed to provide space for lecture demonstrations and to recruit, retrain, and foster mentor relationships for women interested in careers in the sciences.

    She received her Master's Certificate in Consulting in Special Education from N.Y.U. in 1985, her master's of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980, and her bachelor's in Fine Arts from Yale in 1977. Davis-Kivelson has had numerous solo shows including "Seeing the Unseen" (Manne Gallery, Santa Barbara, 1998) and "Natural Phenomena" (Steven Cohen Gallery, L.A., 1997). She has been recipient of numerous honors and awards including an endowment from the N.E.A. (1996-1998), as well as grants from the N.S.F. and from Allied Signal for the Poster Project, and a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (1993-1996). She is a Research Professor in the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. Davis-Kivelson has worked in a wide variety of media, including sculpture, painting, and photography. Her current work continues to conjoin art and science, capturing in visual form brain rhythms, synchronicity, chaos, and patterns in nature, such as pinecones, honeycombs, butterflies, and snowflakes. Davis-Kivelson appreciates the painterly quality of the photographs of nature that she incorporates in her art; in her words, "nature is a great artist".