A seldom-seen side of Idaho National Laboratory science will be on display at a local art museum.

June 23, 2020

By INL Media Relations

Scientific art exhibit opens tomorrow at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

NOTE TO EDITORS: Reporters are invited to cover the invitation-only community reception tomorrow, Sept. 30, starting at 5:30 p.m. Please note that the general public is not invited to the reception. The museum is located at 300 S. Capital Ave., Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS — A seldom-seen side of Idaho National Laboratory science will be on display at a local art museum.

The Art of INL Science exhibit highlights how scientific research that is advancing humankind can also be beautiful. The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho corridor gallery exhibit is open to the general public from Oct. 1 through Nov. 6.

In March, INL launched a pilot program to find artistic research imagery hiding in the recesses of scientists’ data sets. The lab hired Joseph Pehrson, an Idaho artist and recent Idaho State University art program graduate, as a summer intern to search the lab high and low for examples of scientific data that also qualify as art.

He found a wealth of mostly microscopic imagery that spans INL research missions. From nuclear fuel to battery materials to algae, the collection gives viewers a glimpse of INL’s scientific breadth.

“This collection examines the intersection of art and science viewed through the literal lens of microscopy,” said Pehrson. “Photographs of actual materials appear abstract when viewed at a small enough scale.”

The exhibit offers a novel way for people to engage with the lab, learn about its work and meet some of its scientists. The exhibit program contains short bio sketches of all contributing researchers.

Museum staff and local artists juried the collection’s original 32 images to select those on display at the museum. The entire Art of INL Science collection is displayed here: https://artsci.inl.gov/.



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Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, celebrating 75 years of scientific innovations in 2024. The laboratory performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. 

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Posted June 23, 2020

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