Sugar Crystals / The Funding Factor in Science

Sugar Crystals 2

Sugar Crytal TFB

Sugar Crytal side quote

Sugar Crystals / The Funding Factor in Science
Overall size c. 54 x 30 x 16 inches
Strathmore 400 drawing paper, glue, acrylic paint, ink markers
(Photos: Top: Rick Lightbody. Middle and bottom: Jesse Townsley)

I had fun spending time (so to speak) with the New York abstractionists while tossing the paint on this piece. Some of the parts influenced by Marc Rothko and the color field painters are still visible, most of the gestural things I did inspired by Mark Tobey, etc. ended up buried under the color field.

Of the various images I used for reference for the sugar crystals, one from Power & Syred was particularly helpful.

The concept behind this piece is that companies are in some cases “sugar coating” the truth about their products. Meanwhile these companies are also trying to “sweet talk” researchers into giving them the results they want and doctors/authority figures into recommending their products. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can read what a group of editors of medical journals have to say (it’s included on the piece!) The text on the piece is included below.


“…once a scientific truth emerges from a consensus of experiments and observations, it is the way of the world…. That’s the good thing about science: It’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
–Neil deGrasse Tyson 

___True  ___ False  ___ Both

“Industry funding of nutrition-related scientific articles may bias conclusions in favor of sponsors’ products, with potentially significant implications for public health.”
–PLOS Medicine. alpmed.0040005

“As editors of general medical journals, we recognize that the publication of clinical-research findings in respected peer-reviewed journals is the ultimate basis for most treatment decisions. Public discourse about this published evidence of efficacy and safety rests on the assumption that clinical-trials data have been gathered and are presented in an objective and dispassionate manner….We are concerned that the current intellectual environment in which some clinical research is conceived, study subjects are recruited, and data are analyzed and reported (or not reported) may threaten this precious objectivity.”
–International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.