The Literature and Science Lab

The University of Birmingham has one of the largest and strongest concentrations of literature and science scholars in the UK.

The Literature and Science Lab (Lit/Sci Lab) aims to mobilise this strength to cultivate research and teaching at the interface of literature and the sciences, in partnership with scientists and other scholars working on science from across the University and beyond. As well as research on literature and science specifically, the Lab undertakes research that examines wider connections between the sciences, humanities and the arts. 

Literature and the arts have always been fascinated by science and nature, while the sciences have been and continue to be shaped by engagements with the arts, from literature and film to music. Research on STEMM can enable sophisticated reflexive practice within the sciences themselves, leading to joint investigations of shared problems which yield a fuller and richer knowledge than either the sciences or the humanities on their own.

The Lit/Sci Lab meets weekly during term, and we welcome participants from beyond the University of Birmingham. If you're interested in joining our discussions, please contact the Lab's Lead, Professor John Holmes.


If one thing is certain, it is that our current ways of life are unsustainable. One way or another they will have to change. To chart the paths to liveable futures, we have to be able to imagine where we might be going... Neither the sciences nor the humanities can get us to this future by themselves, but working together they can, quite literally, save us."
Why the Arts and the Sciences need each other more than ever

Professor John Holmes, Lead, Lit/Sci Lab

Related research projects

  • Symbiosis

    An interdisciplinary network set up to research and develop the role of the arts and the humanities in natural history museums and collections.

  • Future Thinking

    A network and projects exploring different modes of thinking about the future.

  • Mind Reading: Mental Health and the Written Word

    Exploring the patient experience through literature and personal narrative

Lit/Sci Lab Members