yDiv retreat 2020 - Science & Art

The overall topic of the yDiv retreat 2020 is „Science & Art“ and comprises three workshops of which you can choose one. Either you can learn how to make an artistic perspective out of your field of knowledge or you explore how to use Sketchnotes in order to visualize and present your work to a non-scientific audience. The third option is to learn how improvisational theatre skills can help you cope with unexpected incidents during a presentation or discussion.

Complementing this retreat program, Ronny Leder, director of the Natural History Museum Leipzig, will give a talk on the evening of the first day.

Picture: Macke, August, Paar zwischen den Allegorien von Wissenschaft und Kunst, aufeinander zueilent, Amor in den Wolken, 1904


For a more detailed schedule please check the retreat agenda here (PDF).

10 June

Talk: Keep it simple! - The lowest common denominator in museum exhibitions

The key to good exhibitions in Natural History Museums is the lowest common denominator of Art, Science and Common Sense. Highly complex models condensed to simple facts, translated to simple esthetic forms and mediated in palpably logic. As is so often the case, less is more. Simplicity is pure beauty, easier to understand and better convey. Director Ronny Leder gives an insight into the principles of exhibition design of the new museum and how science and art merge within that process.

Dr Ronny Maik Leder, Director of the Museum of Natural Science Leipzig
11 June

The workshops on 11 June are running parallel! Please chose your favourite when you register.

1st Workshop: Sciences and Arts - Understanding Natural Sciences by the Arts and Understanding the Arts through Natural Sciences

The workshop includes a lecture on how artists work with both scientific research and artistic research method understanding issues around ecology, environment and climate crisis.
Lucas will also present the way in which Waag's Wetlab works with artists to produce workshops with audiences to get practical experience to understand these areas of scientific and artistic research. Participants will design narratives of these kinds of workshops that they can possibly do themselves, and in doing so make use of artistic perspectives of their field of knowledge in order to create another public understanding of it.

2nd Workshop: Visualizations for Science

The participants will get an introduction into the concept of sketchnoting as well as the wide range of applications for it. We will be training the development of a personal visual vocab list and will be taking home the very same. With artistic examples we will have a further look on how visual tools can become illustrations or infographs. Through little exercises we will attempt on thinking like a designer to apply "a bit of art on science" to make it look more interesting but underlining the important facts.

3rd Workshop: Quick & Witty - The Secret to Easy-Going, Confident Communication

We all know the feeling: I have that great idea I want to share, but I am just drawing a blank and miss the right moment in the conversation to bring it up! Or: My counterpart says something that really throws me – and I cannot think of a response (but of course, when I am lying awake in bed later I can think of so many awesome responses). Let’s explore how we can feel more at ease with communicating in the moment and reacting “off the cuff”.
In this workshop, we use the methods and playful tools of Improvisational Theatre to train our Quick-Wittedness: Accepting “what is there” and truly listening to your partner. Using our creative potential and intuition, training our associative thinking muscles. With tailored tools from improv theatre, you don’t have to be an actor to join, have fun, learn a new perspective on communication and leave the workshop seeing the world a little bit more as your stage.


Lucas Evers, WAAG






Franziska Schwarz, SciVisTo



Daniela Porr, Taubenhaucher

12 JunePresentations by the workshop groups


Date and venue

The yDiv retreat is taking place on 10-12 June 2020 in Bad Kösen (between Leipzig and Naumburg).

We booked the Konrad-Martin-Haus. You will stay in double bedrooms, and we will have the whole house and the garden for ourselves.

As Bad Kösen is well accessible with public transport, we are going to travel by train. As always, all costs of accommodation and travel are taken over by yDiv. Associated PhDs are of course welcome, but will have to account for their stay themselves.


The registration is now open! Please use this link to enrol and select a workshop.

Make sure you have thoroughly read the workshop descriptions above. The workshops will be running parralel, and you will be asked to rank the workshops according to your preference.

The registration closes 30 April.

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