They seem distinctly different, one hemisphere versus another, the arts and the sciences appear to grow from completely different trees. We can agree that an artist need not pay attention to decimal points, units, and linear relationships, where as these things are imperative for a scientist. When the world of scientific exploration deals in matters of truth about reality, the artistic world deals in the chaotic and unstable world of the subconscious. Art that is universal to a culture becomes a part of the collective subconscious of that culture, where-as for science, universal truth is gradually discovered and forced into culture by manner of proof.
They may run at odds with one-another, however there is a certainty in similarity also. We know that in order to express truth well, we must communicate it. Communication requires the use of images and words alongside statistical analysis to show the message. The more in depth and complicated the message, the same goes for the communication of it. Only by representing our findings in language and imagery can we allow others to know what we have discovered. This is where art becomes important.
An artist is well able to describe and draw the internal world of themselves, or produce works that encourage feelings, a scientist is equally able to describe and draw the world outside of themselves, and produce images that show vital information. An artist may spend their days painting flowers to great accuracy because of how beautiful they are. A photographer may do the same. Producing quality images of the natural world is both an art and a science. For the image to be science worthy, it must demonstrate a point or feature about the subject. We could show the leaf structure of a buttercup, for example.
So why do we view the two worlds so separately? There is a clear cross-over in the world of science communication that requires artistic skill. Describing the physical processes of cell biology, or the inner workings of nebulae requires a huge verbal palette and an imagination to conjure the best words from. It's a matter of tradition perhaps, however things are looking to change.
The Rubenstein Arts Centre at Duke University, America, has created an exhibition called The Art Of The Scientist. It is created by thirty five individuals, a mixture of artists and scientists, to show how science can be art and vice versa. Fantastic images of geology, chemistry biology, and physics are brought together in massive displays to truly highlight the beauty and intrigue as one entity. Perhaps this will be the first of many exhibits like this from various universities and colleges who teach both subjects.
Now as we enter the world of virtualisation at work and home, learning how best to communicate through the digital medium is of great important to science. Artists are already finding ways to make use of this new technology, with game designers also pioneering the field. Science can also be a big player in this new era of digital reality. If you want to learn more this course from the University of Toronto may be what you're looking for.
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