Student Study: Mark Kozlowski

Mark Kozlowski's comedy Faustus, PhD, gave him a unique opportunity to use art to examine a life in the sciences.

Mark Kozlowski's comedy Faustus, PhD, gave him a unique opportunity to use art to examine a life in the sciences.

Mark Kozlowski, a fourth-year graduate student in chemistry, might not sell his soul for science, fame, and fortune—but he has given a lot of thought to why a researcher could be tempted.

Kozlowski collaborated with Theater Arts Caltech for more than a year to hone a manuscript and then stage a performance of his comedy Faustus, PhD, about a struggling graduate student who makes a deal with the Devil to learn which experiments will bring him success.

Mixing science with art, he says, "is a way of expressing some of the frustrations inherent in lab work," as well as a way to explore the need for moral principles to help guide the goals and methods of research.

Below is a video of the rehearsal process for the May performances and an interview with Kozlowski.

—Jon Nalick