Sharing our fascination with science

Crick Exhibition: “Deconstructing patterns: Art and Science in conversation”

Random Precision_Countless Intimate Acts (Installation and images from Helen Pynor, 2018, commissioned by The Francis Crick Institute)

A lab working on vision and a visual artist – a perfect match

The public engagement manager and curator Bryony Benge-Abbott had the wonderful idea of bringing together artists and scientists to explore the theme of patterns in the 2018 exhibition at the Crick. Our lab was paired with the Australian visual artist Helen Pynor. She set up her desk and temporary studio in our lab for several months, and in turn, we visited her London studio. We could immerse ourselves into each other’s world, focusing on the aspect of transforming patterns from the artist’s and scientist’s point of view. The preparations and participation in this exhibition will remain a truly inspiring and memorable experience for us at many levels.

If you would like to read more about our collaboration:

– P. Ball (2018) The quest for order. Nature 554, 298-299.
– L. Else (2018) Showing and telling. The New Scientist, 237, 48.
– Interalia Magazine (2018): Issue 40
– CLOT Magazine (2018): Deconstructing patterns
– Laboratory News (2018):
– DesignCurial (2018):

A day in the life of a Drosophila lab

If you would like to learn more about a typical day in a fly lab, here is the description from our former PhD student Nana Shimosako posted in the Node when we were still located at Mill Hill.

NIMR canvas

In 2015, NIMR became part of the Francis Crick Institute. Our labs crafted tiny pieces of artwork on cloth that were assembled into a large canvas to remember the spirit of NIMR. The image shows our lab’s contribution. To read more about the NIMR canvas, here is a description by Qiling Xu posted in the Node.

A precious present

Shared Friday fly meetings at the Crick inspired our former colleague, scientist and scientific illustrator María del Carmen (MC) Díaz de la Loza to draw the Drosophila optic lobe with her artist’s eyes.

Ecole Normale Supérieure – PSL / Fête de la Science, France, 2020

In October 2020, we contributed to the virtual French Science Festival with a vidéo to invite the public into our lab. Come and have a look!

“Vous allez découvrir comment nous utilisons la petite mouche à fruit, la drosophile, pour étudier les mécanismes qui contrôlent le développement de la région du cerveau dédiée à la vision. Avec Iris Salecker, professeure à l’ENS et chef de l’équipe Assemblage de Circuits Visuels, et Cara Picciotto, postdoctorante.”

As another activity, we invited children to download this fly picture created by María del Carmen (MC) Díaz de la Loza for coloring.

“Les scientifiques du monde entier utilisent un insecte minuscule pour trouver des réponses à de nombreuses questions fondamentales en biologie. À l’IBENS, nous utilisons cet organisme modèle pour comprendre comment le cerveau se développe et fonctionne. Nous nous concentrons en particulier sur la zone du cerveau dédiée à la vision. Une image vous attend pour être téléchargée et coloriée. Pouvez-vous deviner le nom de notre animal préféré ?” 

To download the pdf file, click on:

Lab photos from our first year in Paris

Confinement et déconfinement – printemps 2020

Some lab and fly group photos from our London time

In below image, from left to right:
Cristina, Martina, Holger, Richard, Kathleen and Emma