Entertaining Science

(First published January 7, 2012)

We’re excited to be performing on the Entertaining Science series on January 8 at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. This wonderful series pairs a science talk with a performance. I’ll be giving the talk — on the very interesting biological phenomenon of RNA interference — and then Gioia and I will perform music from our Science/Music Commissioning Project. Details are below or at the Cornelia Street Cafe web site.

In 1955, physicist Richard Feynman complained that “the value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it.” What a difference a half a century makes!

Biochemist and classical guitarist John Olson will both talk of his research and perform music about science. John’s work at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is on RNA interference, a recently-discovered means of silencing genes that has become a powerful new method for studying gene function — and shown promise as a new type of medicine.

The music, performed with John’s wife, actress, soprano and “recovering mathematician” Gioia De Cari, writer and performer of the hit solo show Truth Values: One Girl’s Romp Through M.I.T.’s Male Math Maze, will be taken from their Science/Music Commissioning Project, which seeks to explore and celebrate science through song.

The selections will include a set entitled “Men, Women, and Molecules” by composer Frank Wallace, based on the poetry of Roald Hoffmann. Selections by other composers will feature the writings of Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, Marie Curie — and yes, Richard Feynman.

Join us for an evening of science, both spoken and sung.

John Olson