ABOUT THE EVENT
Artful Science Experience | "Landscape Art as Science" with Linda Tomasso
You are invited to participate in a very artful science experiment and presentation about the calming, stress-reducing effects of art. Which artist will you bet on to be your newest stress deterrent: Frederick Olmsted or Frederic Church?
Ample scientific evidence links nature exposure to improvements in physical, cognitive, and emotional health. While precise mechanisms for these outcomes are unknown, biophilic responses—that is, human’s innate affinity for living things—likely accounts for these effect changes. Landscape paintings such as those in the New Britain Museum of American Art’s “The Poetry of Nature” exhibition continue to draw admirers to their wondrous, sublime, and, frankly, relaxing evocation of natural spaces.
This presentation by Harvard Environmental Health doctoral candidate and NBMAA Trustee Emerita Linda Powers Tomasso will be staged as actual scientific research to test nature’s stress-reducing capacity through audience responses to viewing live vs artistic interpretations of nature.
About Linda Powers Tomasso
Through her doctoral research at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Linda Powers Tomasso investigates cultural factors for why individuals and their identifying groups vary in their relationships and use of nature. She evaluates nature contact through mixed methods approaches, bringing forth qualitative insights to the understanding of nature-health associations most commonly determined quantitatively. Recent research has explored individual appraisals of nature, motivators of nature-seeking behavior, barriers to nature engagement, and social determinants of nature access which play out longitudinally to affect prospects for health equity. She has spoken at annual conferences of the American Public Health Association, the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology, Princeton’s Center for Theological Inquiry, and several national nature and health conferences. An MS from Georgetown, MA from Harvard in Environmental Management, and an early career as a U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer shaped Linda’s policy background and interest in applied research. Her favorite places to be in nature are the snowy woods in her hometown of Farmington, Connecticut, and anywhere underwater.