USS-SWC 2022 – Representation in Art and Science

The 20th Vienna Summer University was held July 4-13, 2022.


  • Catherine Elgin (Harvard University)
  • Chiara Ambrosio (University College London)
  • Dominic McIver Lopes (University of British Columbia)

The "two cultures" meme encourages a picture of art and science as opposites, and as sharing so little in common that it is difficult to "bridge" a deep gap between them. In fact, however, the arts and the sciences share many of the same representational tools, and exploit many of the same cognitive processes responsible for the working of those representational tools. This two-week workshop explores what can be learned about the arts and the sciences through an examination of their common languages, practices, and methodologies. Topics to be covered include: depiction, fiction and imagination, narrative, metaphor and analogy, and aesthetic value in science and the arts. Drawing on historical and contemporary approaches, we will examine the epistemic role of these phenomena in the sciences and also to their role in presenting scientific results.


  • art and science - two cultures?
  • theories of depiction and images in science
  • theories of fiction and models as fictions
  • aesthetic value in science
  • metaphor in science
  • imagination in art and science