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2020 Art of Science Winner

Congratulations to this year’s Art of Science winner, Alberto Bresciani, Ph.D., (IRBM, Rome, Italy). Bresciani's entry will be hung in the SLAS HQ office and used in SLAS promotions throughout the year. He also received a $100 Amazon gift card. 

Read more about his image below.




Beauty saves the world even in a research lab. A research lab is a place where a lot of plastic waste is generated, in most cases there is little to do to avoid this. At the same time a decent part of the plastic waste that is not contaminated and can be recycled.

At our lab we make a considerable use of acoustic COP plates that come with a black lid that is immediately discarded in favor of a thin film to seal plates. We started collecting thousands of lids and considered getting rid of them. However, in the absence of a clean way to recycle the lids we converted the waste into an installation to remind us and everybody that with creativity and inspiration, there’s always a new bright future for apparently useless things and ideas.

We noticed that once piled up the lids have some degree of rotation so that they are able to twist of a few degrees with respect to the lower lid. If all the lids are twisted the same angle w.r.t. the lower lid they generate a coiled like structure that resembles the DNA double helix. We built five lid skyscrapers that can be seen in the picture and each skyscraper is made of c. 200 lids. The skyscrapers are mounted in a lower bench in the lab. The background was removed in the picture to let better appreciate the installation.

The installation is dynamic and increases in height and number of skyscrapers with the use of acoustic COP plates. Its presence, though apparently useless, is key to our team feelings. It grows with us, it can collapse, but it can always be re-built to be more stable. It is there to demonstrate that with patience, creativity and passion beauty can be generated from anything.