Science comic-strips on display at Microcosm

To mark the publication of his new comic-strip "Les Vies de Marie Curie", the Genevan artist Fiami will be placing some of his previous creations on the theme "women and science" on display at CERN. The new comic-strip pays tribute to the illustrious Nobel prize-winner by taking a light-hearted look at the history of chemistry and how the role of women scientists in society has evolved through the ages.


It's no easy task,  presenting the history of science to the general public in a light-hearted way. As part of the various events organised in the Fête de la Science and the Europeans Researchers Night, CERN will be hosting an exhibition entirely devoted to the comic-strips created by Fiami. The artist describes his comics as "a relaxed way of looking at serious and apparently highly complex subjects." 

Fiami's very latest creation, Les Vies de Marie Curie, published in June 2011, celebrates the Year of Chemistry and the hundredth anniversary of Marie Curie's Nobel Prize for Chemistry. After his depictions of Einstein (The Lives of Einstein, published in the Year of Physics, 2005) and Galileo (The Lives of Galileo, published in the Year of Astronomy, 2009), this is the first time Fiami has placed a female character in the spotlight. Following the tried-and-tested formula of his previous books, the author retraces the major discoveries in the field of chemistry and illustrates women's fight to gain access to knowledge through six major periods of history.

From 21 September to 20 December 2011, nineteen panels taken from the Genevan artist's repertoire will be on display at Microcosm. "Even in the age of digitalisation and computerisation, the cartoon remains as effective a tool for communication and culture as ever," says Fiami. "It's a great honour for me to exhibit my work at CERN, which is at the very heart of world science. Microcosm is the ideal place to put science-inspired cartoons on public display."

"Among the many ways of establishing a dialogue between science and society, the comic-strip is a highly popular medium which can be understood by all, in particular the young," adds Bernard Pellequer, member of the Education Group and organiser of the exhibition. "Fiami excels in this field; here he paints the portraits of three women from history, reminding us that science cannot be reduced to the isolated work of a few brilliant minds but is also the product of the culture and society in which those people lived. What better way to tell the history of science than through jokes and puns ?" 

Whether you're a novice, an aficionado or simply interested in finding out more about Marie Curie, Mileva Einstein or Marie-Anne Lavoisier,  don't miss this exhibition at the Microcosm, Mondays to Saturdays, from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The vernissage will take place on 21 September at 5.00 p.m. 

by Alix Marcastel