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£37 000 Dream takes University of Warwick Researcher from Boiling Sun to the Antarctic

Chapman, Sandra Prof.
Professor Sandra Chapman
Originally published 7 November 2002

Embargo: Do not publish or Broadcast
before 00.01 hours Monday 11th November

A University of Warwick astrophysicist is to be extracted from her work studying extreme events involving the sun to join a scientific expedition to the extreme cold of the Antarctic.

The NESTA "Dream Time Fellowship" award of £37,875 will let Professor Sandra Chapman travel to the Southern ends of the earth to work with scientists based at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) base at Rothera on Adelaide Island as part of the BAS' Artists and Writers Programme. This is the BAS logistics centre for the Antarctic Peninsula and home to biological laboratories and facilities for a wide range of research.

From here she will undertake a number of trips in the wilderness and use these, together with discussions about scientific phenomena in the region and other material gathered while in the area, as the inspiration for a series of artworks. These will be produced following a three-month collaboration with an artist and will aim to communicate how scientists experience discovery and the interaction with a pristine environment.

Art and science have long been partners in explaining the inner workings of each discipline. The unique aspect to this partnership, however, is that the scientist involved will develop as an artist through practice and collaboration with artists, acting as a conduit for the group of scientists in Antarctica and their shared experiences there. The resulting work will be exhibited at the Warwick Campus Exhibition Space, supported by the University of Warwick's Warwick Arts Centre, with the intention of further showings at a later date.

Professor Chapman's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council-funded research covers solar system, astrophysical and laboratory plasmas [studying the electrons and protons surrounding the earth and sun]. Sandra has lectured at Sussex University and the Kyoto University in Japan and in 1996 joined Warwick as a Reader before becoming the University's first female professor in Physics to set up its space and astrophysics group. Her work has been recognised with the COSPAR Zeldovich Medal and the EGS Young Scientists' Medal and she has also published over 100 papers and a textbook on electrodynamics. Sandra is Co-investigator in the European Space Agency Cluster mission: an international project to examine how the Sun and Earth interact.

For over 100 years Antarctica has been a symbol of British scientific exploration and discovery and NESTA is delighted to offer support to a project that utilises this heritage through art to show how scientific endeavour affects our humanity.

For further details please contact:
Professor Sandra Chapman,
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 523390

Joe Meaney,
Press Officer,
NESTA (the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts)
Tel: 020 7645 9518
mobile: 07811 336 354