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Science lives next door to fiction

Debate article by Lars Strannegård in Dagens Nyheter: When art borrow things from the legitimacy of science, the result can be magnificent fiction. But if researchers start inventing, then we are in trouble. The confidence in science must constantly be reproduced - by the researchers themselves - by not letting go of the demands on scientificity, says Lars Strannegård, President of the Stockholm School of Economics.

At "Kulturhuset" in Stockholm, the fascinating exhibition "Aquanauts. The Expedition" is taking place at the moment. It is completely fictional and revolves around a fictional expedition to "Siljansringen" (a prehistoric impact crater in central Sweden), where science-like artifacts are displayed.

The exhibition is reminiscent of the Venice Biennale 2017, where Damien Hirst exhibited fictional, newly manufactured "art treasures" that were allegedly finds from a sunken ship. Hirst also alluded to science. The works of art were presented as cataloged finds: numbered, documented, and ready for interpretation.

The two exhibitions share the fascination for expeditions, underwater mysticism, scientific methodology and sensational discoveries. The scientific framework is absolutely central for the fictional stories to work convincingly. In other words, the sensational borrows the legitimacy of the research.

Read the full article in Swedish on our website here

Read the full article in Dagens Nyheter here