Atoms in Art & Culture

a Discovery Core Experience

May be be taken as either B CORE 110 (Natural Sciences), or B CORE 104 (Arts & Humanities)

About This Course

Our inventions are all around us. And we have reinvented ourselves to accommodate them. The clock on our phones dictates the way we spend our time with people. The lights in our cities influence the way we sleep and how fireflies mate. The colors in advertisements guide the way we think about products and people. In this class, we will explore the atoms–the materials–that make up our world and how their properties have affected our culture, art, and history. You will learn how to re-frame scientific concepts into the context of stories. We will communicate our research through comics in which we will draw connections between atoms and art; between materials and culture; between matter and what matters.

Why Should I Take This Course?

We bake cakes, we make paint, we play with light, we create art, we tell stories. This class lets you explore the objects around us and connects those objects with their effects on our psychology, ecology, history, and art. The class lets you be creative and curious.

Selected Texts & Films

Alchemy of Us by Ainessa Ramirez

Selected Projects & Activities

We’ll get creative — doing things like explore the interaction of gatorade with light and developing a Comic Book describing the interaction between science and society.

Professor Gavin Doyle (He/Him/His)

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences


  • JD, Law, Loyola Law School-Los Angeles
  • MFA, Theatre Performance, University of Louisville
  • Certificate in African-American Theatre, Theatre Performance, University of Louisville
  • BA, Biology, Roanoke College
  • BA, Theatre, Roanoke College


“We draw connections between matter and what matters.” -Professor Doyle

Dr. Charity Lovitt (She/Her/Hers)

School of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics

About Professor Lovitt

  • Ph.D, Chemistry, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BS Chemistry, Kentucky Wesleyan College