Hungarian Science: A Monument to Innovation

About the work

This data sculpture, conceived by BarabasiLab, stands as a testament to the multifaceted nature of Hungarian science, bridging physical and virtual realms. The sculpture is an homage to the Nobel Prize-winning Hungarian discovery of vitamin C by Albert Szentgyörgyi, a feat accomplished entirely within Hungary. The design of the monument is deeply symbolic: an 8-meter tall cylindrical structure, adorned with branching elements and a pentagonal loop, reflecting the molecular composition of ascorbic acid, the chemical name for vitamin C. This colorful, dynamic sculpture not only mirrors the intricate structure of the vitamin but also celebrates the diversity and richness of Hungarian scientific contributions.


Csaba Both, Péter Szalay, Albert-László Barabási.

The monument uses a unique approach to embody various fields of science, from physics to medicine, through its physical structure and color scheme. The sculpture is painted with 11 distinct colors, each correlating to one of the 11 scientific disciplines. The proportion of each color reflects the number of researchers in each field, with medicine being the most represented, while law and literature have a smaller presence. This diverse color palette not only represents the individual disciplines but also symbolizes their interconnected nature, promoting a sense of unity within the scientific community.

The color scheme is adaptable and can be tailored to reflect the specific context or location of the sculpture, representing aspects such as the presence of Hungarian researchers in the European Union, or  Nobel and Abel laureates. 

Complementing the physical structure, the artwork features a virtual component accessible through a QR code on its pedestal. This leads visitors to an interactive platform, revealing the detailed information and narratives behind each color.  While the statue's form remains constant, its virtual content is dynamic, evolving with the progression of science. This dual presentation of fixed physical form and fluid virtual content captures the essence of scientific innovation and its enduring but renewing impact.

Alternative color schemes can be used to reflect the final location of the statue: The colors and their ratio can carry for example the number of researchers in the countries of the European Union or Hungarian Nobel and Abel laureates. 
Deciphering the color code of the data sculpture. 
Model of the statue from different views