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December 23, 2014 6:16 PM   Subscribe

Why should Oscar nominees have all the fun? May Britt Moser was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this year (along with her husband, Edvard Moser, and colleague John O’Keefe) for "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain". Her bio and list of publications can be found here. Designer Matthew Hubble was inspired by the attention paid to movie stars and their clothing to create a custom dress for Britt Moser that combines leather, silk, and beads to illustrate neurons in a very new way.
“We used a mixture of sequins and beads for the cyton, and created the beautiful synapses similarly, but the myelin sheath on the axons we just couldn’t make look beautiful and so decided a splash of artistic license is allowed after all.”

Matthew Hubble's creations include pieces inspired by molecule structures and Rome's Termini train station, in case you're looking for a last minute holiday win.

What does gene targeting look like as a dress? Dermal replacement research? Complex systems! One team discussed their experience here.

What is Descience?
Descience emerged with the vision of fostering collaborations between two creative worlds and creating a new one that provides science with a new language and gives fashion a new source of inspiration.
Just hoping to channel Miss Frizzle on your own quotidian explorations? Considering translating your neuroscience research onto a loom?
posted by jetlagaddict (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This quote seems appropriate:
...far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?

Richard Feynman
posted by Riki tiki at 6:24 PM on December 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

The motif is very nicely done, but the Project Runway fanatic in me can't help but notice the puckering and warping in the dress. Perhaps he should have used a more forgiving fabric than satin.
posted by Flashman at 6:35 PM on December 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

I like it.
posted by blob at 6:44 PM on December 23, 2014

posted by wotsac at 7:59 PM on December 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

He really did a nice job of incorporating the neuron motif without making it "themey" and kept it very dressy and formal while adding just the right amount of sparkle. I completely loved it, I thought it was just fantastic. It's so hard for women to dress for events like that and she looked fantastic -- serious and formal and smart, in a dress worth some fashion love.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:23 PM on December 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Mmmmmmmmmm I don't know.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:40 PM on December 23, 2014

It's pretty literal. It kind of just looks like neuron-shaped appliqués.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:43 PM on December 23, 2014

That smile on her face makes that dress.


Happy person has happy dress.

I also think it's amazingly sexy, but I'm a guy. But seriously, any article of clothing that makes a person that happy is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold.
posted by eriko at 8:46 PM on December 23, 2014 [7 favorites]

(Sorry. I really want to like it...)
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:17 PM on December 23, 2014

I would wear THE HELL out of this dress! And yes, it is her obvious and unapologetic delight that totally makes this.
posted by MissySedai at 10:25 PM on December 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

> NERDS!!!!
> posted by wotsac

You called?
posted by benito.strauss at 12:25 AM on December 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

The dress is lovely, and so is her work. I was pleasantly surprised with this year's round of Nobels: I think most of the neuroscience community concurs May Britt's work (and her husband's & O'Keefe's) is deserving, but I didn't think it would be recognized for several decades and I suspected May Britt herself would be overlooked.

I just wrote & deleted like two paragraphs on female scientist fashion & feminism, but in short: I think it's wonderful that she wore something related to her work. Yeah, it's literal but what else do you want? Either you go meaninglessly generic, or she would be wearing a ridiculous Cartesian grid monstrosity with hexagons everywhere interspersed with little chocolate pellet bobbles that nobody would understand.

Tangentially, I remember being really frustrated as a kid by the way Rosalind Franklin was always held up as the female scientist in school (along with, of course, quotes about how she was unpleasant! and unattractive! and robbed! also she died!) and nobody else was ever discussed except maybe Marie Curie. Of course Franklin's work was deserving and she was overlooked and this should be publicized, but I think it does a disservice to young girls to not also discuss other brilliant female scientists like May Britt Moser or Lily Jan or Barbara McClintock or Linda Buck, so I'm happy May Britt is getting so much well-deserved attention.
posted by angst at 10:51 AM on December 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I again apologize - I was responding, in an evidently tone-deaf way, really just to the dress, not to Dr. Britt in it. I agree, she is beautiful - she exudes a light I don't think the dress could dim, and I think it's wonderful that she's received the acknowledgement she deserves.

(This is the thing: there's a certain kind of overwrought and overreaching conceit that I've seen in some descriptions of art, especially art-meets-science art, that bugs the shit out of me when the hype fails [imo, always imo] to deliver. I feel sure that there's room for interesting interpretations that could communicate something about their source, somewhere between abstract grid monstrosities and very simple re-presentations. For example, I thought some of the other work linked to in the post was more successful at this kind of translational effort. However, it was inappropriate of me to attach those kinds of expectations to a dress that was meant to make a lady scientist feel special and look pretty, which I think it does, despite my objections. And I am truly sorry if my crude comment was hurtful in any way.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:55 PM on December 26, 2014

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