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Past  Exhibitions 

Artists / Scientists:

Stephen S. Young


Paul Kelly


Salem State University


Macro or Micro





    An interdisciplinary exhibition exploring 

    the concept of scale in scientific inquiry


   Through the intermingling of earth and life imagery generated via both satellite and electron microscope, this body of work reveals patterns and similarities in the natural world between scales that are undetectable by the naked eye.  This collaborative work bridges art and science, raising questions about how we interpret various points-of-view, the broader universe and our place it in.

 Dr. Stephen Young uses satellite imagery to study environmental change on earth and his colleague, Dr. Paul Kelly, uses the electron microscope to explore the details of living organisms and earth objects.  The micro images capture details which are millimeters or less in size while the macro images capture details which are kilometers or larger in size.  Thus the difference in scale is a million times or more.

Using an art gallery setting we challenge the viewer’s concepts of scale, asking them to explore the images and determine which are macro-scale and which are micro-scale.  Consider not only the level of scale, but what each image shows.  Is it a crack in a fingernail or the landscape of a mighty river?

We also use the gallery exhibition and gallery talks to make the public aware of how geographers and scientists study the earth at different scales, getting people interested in and excited about scientific inquiry.  The show also has its whimsical side where the viewer can just look at the imagery for the beauty of its own.

On the social science side this exhibition also explores how we misinterpret the unfamiliar. People who use satellite imagery or the electron microscope tend to do better at determining which are macro and which are micro - though they also make mistakes. In life we tend to misinterpret thing that we are unfamiliar with. In this vain our exhibition went to Iran as the US and Iran have been isolated from each other and it explores our misinterpretation of the unfamiliar.  See more here on the exhibition in Iran.


The Exhibition has received extensive media coverage with a few selections below:

The Smithsonian

The Huffington Post

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)


Science Illustrated:



Academic Conference Presentations

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting 2017  

Mini-exhibition - April 2017


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, 2013

Remote Sensing: The Art and Science of Seeing Our World, from the Micro to the Macro

Friday, February 15, 2013 - Stephen S. Young


Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting 2012

GeoHumanities: Macro or Micro: spatial patterns that transcend scale

Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Stephen S. Young