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Faculty Participate in Annual AAAS Meeting


By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: Feb. 28, 2013

Addressing topics ranging from the arts to the sciences, Boston College faculty were among the researchers discussing their latest findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, which was held in Boston this month.

Professor of Psychology Ellen Winner, whose research focuses on children’s cognition in the arts, examined the relationship between visual arts learning and understanding geometry as part of a panel titled “Evidence from Music, Fiction and Visual Arts: Transfer of Learning from the Arts?”

Winner and colleagues from the Education Development Center in Waltham and Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston reported on a two-year study they conducted to determine if experience in the visual arts develops skills that could be useful in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The researchers found that students of the visual arts outperformed their peers in tests of geometric, confirming earlier findings that the visual arts develop could serve as a gateway to STEM fields for some students.

In addition, researchers from the lab of Vanderslice Family Professor of Chemistry Lawrence Scott highlighted their latest research into the development of new types of hydrocarbons, carbon nanotube structures and graphene ribbons.