Profile: A Scientific Perspective on Art | AIChE

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Profile: A Scientific Perspective on Art


Science and art are often perceived as clashing disciplines — science is logical and fact-based, while art thrives on emotion and ambiguity.

In general, you either belong to one field or the other. Joel Kowit, a retired biology professor, is fusing the two through stained glass art that illustrates themes in immunology, chemistry, and medicine.

Kowit began his education with a BS in physics from Columbia Univ., eventually falling in love with genetics and pursuing a PhD in biology from Brandeis Univ. He taught biology, immunology, and genetics for 41 years at Emmanuel College before retiring in 2016.

During his time at Emmanuel, he took advantage of free classes for staff and enrolled in many painting and art courses. Over the years, he audited the college’s glass blowing seminar almost a dozen times.


Today, Kowit’s artwork is largely stained glass and focuses on various scientific topics with societal and historical significance. His work is an homage to science and science researchers — he hopes that everybody, but especially scientists, can make a direct connection to his art...

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