an Explore Mars Event

May 17-19, 2022

The George Washington University

Washington D.C.



SciArt Exchange | Founder and Executive Director

Jancy McPhee wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to be when she grew up. She loved science and exploring, but all her hobbies were related to music and theater and reading about how other humans think, feel, create and move. Hoping to combine her interests, she became a neuroscientist, a person who examines the science behind these human capabilities. Formally, Dr. McPhee has a B.A. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Brandeis University. She was a cellular and molecular neuroscience researcher in academia for 17 years before joining the National Space Biomedical Research Association and later the Universities Space Research Association to manage various aspects of NASA’s domestic and international space life sciences research programs. Since 2010, she has been implementing motivating and novel ways to enhance space education and science and technology innovation and to promote global collaboration in human space exploration. She created the international Humans in Space Art Program and has been working to establish SciArt Exchange.
In 2009, many space agencies were experiencing difficulty getting the political and financial support that they needed. Also, the Space Shuttle was soon to retire, and many new space agencies and commercial space companies were emerging, generating excitement but also confusion about the future of space. During the planning for a 2011 Houston conference, Dr. McPhee found an opportunity to create a project coupling space science and technology with art for effective education and community dialogue about this future.

​The theme of the 2011 International Academy of Astronautics’ Humans in Space Symposium was “Integration and Cooperation in the Next Golden Age of Human Space Flight.” Dr. McPhee reasoned that the next generation would do much of the implementation of this “Golden Age”; thus current youth ought to be involved in the planning. She developed an international Humans in Space Youth Art Competition to educate young people worldwide about space, engage them in thinking about the future, and provide a means for them to creatively communicate their ideas to Symposium attendees and the public through displays and live performances of their artwork. 

Based on the success of the initial Youth Art Competition, Dr. McPhee created the multi-project, international Humans in Space Art Program to encourage people of all ages (youth, young adult, and professionals), cultures, and backgrounds to think about and creatively communicate their visions of the future of human space exploration through visual, literary, musical, and video art. So far, the Program has engaged over 9000 participants, and 3 million have viewed multi-media artwork displays and performances online, locally on Earth, and in space. Dr. McPhee has received two awards for her creation of the Humans in Space Art Program, The NASA Johnson Space Center Director's Innovation Award (2011) and the STEAMSpace Education Permission to Dream Award (2017). She believes the recognition truly belongs to everyone who has participated and supported the Program. In addition, SciArt Exchange received the 2017 TMT (Technology, Media, Telecoms) Entertainment Award for Best Science Engagement Initiative  - USA, the 2017 UK Corporate Excellence Award for Best International Science & Art Education Initiative, the 2018 AI ((Acquisition International) Award for Best Scientific Education Development & Promotion Initiative – USA and the 2018 CV Magazine UK Best in Business Awards - Leading Authority on Science & Art Collaborations

In order to expand the Humans in Space Art Program and initiate other global science-integrated- with- art activities, Dr. McPhee established the nonprofit SciArt Exchange. The nonprofit aims to inspire the world about space, science, and technology and promote public understanding about and contribution to science and technology issues. Nonprofit activities include contests, events, consulting and instructing on topics such as science communication, creativity, and teamwork. Dr. McPhee envisions a world where each individual is trained to use their whole brain and to work respectfully and collaboratively with many different kinds of people to solve the greatest global science and technology challenges. SciArt Exchange and its partners worldwide hope to help realize this vision.