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Art and Science: Kickoff “The Popular Microbiome”

09.11.2021 News

On November 9, 2021 the interdisciplinary project “The Popular Microbiome” was kicked off in Stuttgart. The project will focus on different dimensions of the interface between science and society regarding microbiome research. For the kick-off around 50 people came together at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (ABK) to get to know each other and to officially start the project.

Eight PhD candidates, Davina Höll and Leon Kokkoliadis from the Cluster of Excellence CMFI and Michael Pelzer from the University of Tübingen’s Knowledge Design Strategy came together Prof. Uwe FischerProf. Patrick ThomasDavid Gebka and their classes for Industrial and Communication Design at ABK in Stuttgart.


Together with the ABK, we want to explore the innovative possibilities that emerge when scientists and artists work together to make the invisible visible to the public eye. In this project PhD candidates from the Cluster of Excellence CMFI combine their state-of-the-art science with avant-garde art from two ABK classes—and create new ways of sharing their research. In addition, the interdisciplinary collaborative process will be supervised and documented by the Berlin based Artistic Researcher Johanna Barnbeck.

The PhD candidates gave insights into their research projects and discussed it with the students from ABK. The classes Thomas and Fischer presented recent works to give an impression of the topics they deal with and materials they use.

After a tour through the various workshops—from 3D printing to bronze casting—some first project groups found together.

The Project:

The project "The Popular Microbiome?" will focus on different dimensions of the interface between science and society regarding microbiome research. Popularization takes place in many ways. Thus, the idea of the project is to get a first impression of how does knowledge about the microbiome reach society. What role do different media, e.g. popular science books, TED talks, blogs, artistic research, or citizen science projects, play in this process? What consequences could be drawn for microbiome research and its communication strategies?

“The Popular Microbiome” engages in the field of knowledge communication and knowledge transfer and thus complements Davina Höll’s current research project within the CMFI, that focuses on the historical and epistemological context and ethical consequences of microbiome research. It thus touches topics that have recently been identified as highly relevant in microbiome research but have hardly been dealt with so far in the humanities, the social or life sciences.

Participating CMFI PhD Candidates
  • Ahmed Elsherbini
  • Tarik Fida
  • Athina Gavriilidou
  • Nicola Gericke
  • Franziska Höhn
  • Johanna Jakob
  • Bita Pourmohsenin
  • Sophie Schminke
  • Sarah Maria Trenz
Press Contact

Leon Kokkoliadis
Public Relations Management

Tel: +49 7071 29-74707