Art Labs

The Heterosis Projects

Discover The Heterosis Projects

Embracing hybridity and promoting heterosis across and between our Labs, cultures, disciplines and forms of knowledge

In the 21st Century, digital and new technologies have super-charged the Twentieth Century’s impetus towards hybridity. The world gets smaller every day. Cultures rub up against each other and inevitably mix. Liverpool has always been a city of cultural hybridity. The Beatles would not have emerged without the Black music clubs of Toxteth and Elvis’s latest 45s.

Heterosis was coined by another George Harrison: American plant geneticist George Harrison Shull. Heterosis is the result of combining animals or plants of different breeds to make an improvement on the parents. Shull bred new vigorous wheat from pure-bred weak plants, thereby improving the world’s food supply. He received the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal in 1948.

The challenge today is to ethically embrace hybridity to ensure heterosis.

Fear of hybridity leads to missing the opportunities and benefits of heterosis.

The Heterosis Projects embrace hybridity and promote heterosis across and between our Labs, cultures, disciplines and forms of knowledge. They are for researchers and agencies that want to reach out, collaborate and share in order to open up new frontiers of knowledge and its applications. The Heterosis Projects grow transdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge highlighting and creating successful examples of heterosis in and between arts and sciences. They create a proactive environment where required trans-disciplinary dialogue can take place across all subjects and with colleagues around the world.

The Heterosis Projects exhibit trans and interdisciplinary features and have a particular design of dissemination that maximises their positive contribution to the promotion of a particular vision of the future of knowledge. This is a future of new synthesis, collaboration and progress towards a fair and open, environmentally responsible society.