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The University of Southampton

Putting science in the picture

Published: 9 March 2009

A Southampton biosciences graduate, who successfully combines his twin passion for science and art, is donating two of his paintings to his former university.

Jason Adamson always found it impossible to choose between art and science but over the years the 22-year-old University of Southampton graduate has successfully combined them.

Jason said: “It was 50/50 art and science right through my schooldays.”

Having graduated from the University with a biomedical sciences degree, he now works as a research scientist investigating lung disease, but still paints in his spare time, stages exhibitions and has even had his artwork commissioned for bars in Southampton and London.

Now, Jason has decided to give two of his paintings to the University’s new Life Sciences building. The paintings will be displayed in the new building, currently being constructed on the Highfield campus and due to open in 2010.

The paintings, naturally, have a scientific theme. ‘Twisted Ladder’, an acrylic on canvas, shows the structure of DNA and ‘The Cell’, also an acrylic, is an abstract interpretation of an animal cell.

Head of School Professor David Shepherd says that the School will be delighted to display them.

He said: “We have plenty of photographs of cells and other biological themes but this is the first time we have had any paintings reflecting what we do. We’re most grateful to Jason for his generosity and will be giving them pride of place in our new building.”

Jason chose biomedical sciences at Southampton’s School of Biological Sciences because of its reputation.

He said: “I didn’t want to go away to university because I had travelled round the world a lot with my family when I was younger. Southampton is well-respected for biological science and it was a good choice. The degree was very flexible and I was able to study several interesting aspects of the subject.”

Jason remains passionate about science and is enjoying the opportunity to put all the analytical and research skills gained at Southampton into practice.

“Scientific research is my career and I want to progress and do well, but art is still important to me,” he said.

“My artistic and design skills come in useful at work; I’ve been called on to help produce a brochure highlighting what we do. But I think it’s best to keep my painting as a very special hobby.”

Jason’s work can be viewed at

Notes for editors

1. Images of Jason Adamson and his work are available from Communications on request.

2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.

With over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover of more than £370 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Web Science Research Initiative, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies and the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute.

For further information:

Glenn Harris, Communications, University of Southampton,
Tel. 023 8059 3212, email:

Sarah Watts, Communications, University of Southampton,
Tel: 023 8059 3807, email:

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