Jennifer Willet

Canada Research Chair in Art, Science and Ecology

Tier 2 - 2018-01-01
Renewed: 2024-04-01
University of Windsor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Research involves

Creating living biological artworks using biotechnologies

Research relevance

This research will help the general public understand bioethical issues surrounding biotechnology, health sciences and the environment.

Research summary

Bioartists use biological media—like plants, cells, bacteria and viruses—to create art. As such, they are uniquely suited to interpret the influences of these natural media on individuals, society and ecology—and now, some are chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. As Canada Research Chair in Art, Science and Ecology, Dr. Jennifer Willet is addressing the challenges in science engagement that became apparent during the pandemic.

Willet and her research team are working across disciplines, species and communities to imagine sustainable biotech futures through a bioart lens. They are creating aesthetic, technical and theoretical innovation and developing social practice and audience engagement approaches across the arts and sciences. They are also building a Canadian and international art/science research network and a framework for bringing non-scientists into research labs across Canada. They hope to encourage non-specialists and researchers to work with scientists, industry and policy-makers to co-determine our shared biotech future.