Leonardo at 50 : the first decades


I gave a talk today via skype in Cambridge, UK at Kettle’s Yard conference on

White Heat: art, science and social responsibility in 1960s Britain ( see details below)

My Talk was a reflection of 50 years of the Leonardo Journal- the journal was conceived when my father Frank Malina

met Robert Maxwell, the owner of Pergamon Press, in 1965 – almost fifty years ago.

I present the backgound and context for the creation of the journal, and some reflections on how the situation today

in the art-science-technology community of practice has evolved. When my father created in the Leonardo journal

he made a list on a napkin of the artists he knew who were either working with scientists or engineers, or the artists who also

had careers as scientists-he ran out of names after 50- today the community of practice has increased 100-1000 fold

with many of the art and technology areas now applied to mass entertainment

The power point is available on slideshare:



I also have a version of the talk with my spoken remarks  on Drop box which I can make available ( drop me

me an email at rmalina(at)alum.mit.edu and i will share it with you.


My talk is part of a general reflection we are having as part of the Leonardo Pioneers and Pathbreakers project



We recently issued a call for memoirs by pioneers reflecting on their memories of their work in art, science

and technology in the 1960s,70s and we are beginning to receive a number of interesting documents. If you know

someone who was at work in art/sci/tech in the 60s or 70s please encourage them to submit a memoire !


Here is the call



Roger Malina


WHITE HEAT: art, science and social responsibility in 1960s Britain

26 July, 9.30am – 4pm, £20 (conc. £15)

Advance booking essential as space is limited. Includes lunch and refreshments

Book online or call 01223 748100

Lecture Theatre LT0, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1PZ and Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street.

Download the programme here

An exciting one-day conference exploring the relationships between art, science and society in the 1960s. 50 years on, key figures from this period will join speakers from the fields of art and cultural history, the history and philosophy of science, contemporary art, science, activism and popular culture to revisit one of the most intense periods of intellectual and cultural ferment.

The symposium takes place in the very lecture theatre where, in 1965, Gustav Metzger gave his iconic lecture/demonstration “The Chemical Revolution in Art”.

The programme includes talks on the 1960s art-world and the legacies of 1960s art practice in contemporary art. Discussions on the publications Studio International and Leonardo Journalwill explore the interdisciplinary links between art and science in the 1960s.  The day will also include a panel discussion on The British Society for Social Responsibility in Science (BSSRS).

Contributors include Joe BanksAlice BellJonathan BenthallJohn DunbarBronac FerranElizabeth FisherDavid GaleMartin KempNigel Lesmoir-GordonRoger MalinaJerry RavetzJasia ReichardtJonathan RosenheadNeal White andRobert M. Young.

With video contributions from Gustav Metzger.

Following the conference there will be a reception at Kettle’s Yard and a chance to view the exhibition LIFT OFF! from 5-7pm, and a chance to purchase signed copies of the exhibition catalogue. Kettle’s Yard is a short ten minute walk from the Department of Engineering.



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