For most people, hearing the word ‘science’ brings to mind static facts listed in textbooks, scientists observing specimens under the microscope, mechanical engineers working on automobiles, Einstein’s equations and so on. But that is an incomplete picture of science. Science is much more complex yet beautiful. The same irony haunts art and artists. Artists are usually thought to be people employing a paintbrush and aesthetics to translate the hues of their imagination into impressions on a white canvas.
No doubt, the debate regarding convergence of science and art is not new. But the undeniable fact is: the scientists in the laboratory and the artists in the studio both use their creative insights and learn to transform information into something elegant and compelling.
The relation between science and art has a long history that is generally overlooked. For instance, when people hear the name Leonardo da Vinci, the first thought striking their minds is that of the hand behind the famous Mona Lisa. Little do most of them know that Leonardo was also an avid mathematician, keen engineer, vehement anatomist and ardent botanist. It was his inquisitive mind that led him to the invention of flying machine. He was known as the painter of Renaissance, the celebrated period of rebirth in the European history regarding art, literature, science, architecture and politics. At that utopian time, a man was made to study all the subjects of science and art, unlike today, where a child has to choose between the two after his secondary education.
That said, five centuries later, Pablo Picasso, a Spanish painter, experimented with different theories and developed a technique called Cubism, in which he composed his work through disoriented figures, lines and shapes. He created a never-before-seen style of work which was a result of his careful analysis. Even Albert Einstein agrees,
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in aesthetics, plasticity and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.
To reach the epitome of their exploration, artists tend to choose the avenue that is suitable for the questions they are interested in analyzing. Biologists nowadays visualize their molecular hypotheses using animations which prove useful for communicating their ideas. This idea of animation can be traced back to the time when Walt Disney first developed animated films, revolutionizing the illustration industry.
Then again, successful marketing teams are using a mix of both science and art to develop aesthetical techniques for the progress of their company. Developing relationships with your customers is crucial and there is no scientific formula for that. You need to have an artistic approach to it. Sales increase when salesmen step out of the typical mentality of just focusing on the economic growth of their company and genuinely engage with the buyers.
For instance, Sara Chipps, who is a co-founder of Girl Develop it, developed an intriguing way to teach girls about software and web applications. She created a fashion and tech-infused gadget called Jewelbot. Young girls can use basic engineering logic to program this wearable gadget to do just about anything they can think of. This device harnesses the creativity of young women to learn programming languages that will serve them for years to come.
Recently, a wonderful collaboration of science, art and design occurred on August 21, 2017 during a solar eclipse. University students of Alaska and Oregon launched a half-dozen balloons into the earth’s atmosphere to take spectacular views of the eclipse. When the balloons reached their highest altitudes, they burst and brought camera equipment safely back to the ground. In this way, the students actually used their science and creative tactics together to provide people with a spectacular view of the eclipse.
In the light of aforementioned discussion, it would be no exaggeration to say that the collaboration between science and art can indeed lead us to ‘eureka’ moments! Therefore, it is time to dispel the notion of compartmentalizing science and art. Keeping in view the last renaissance period, there is a strong possibility that we might enter another age of renaissance because both science and art are wedded by the feelings of wonder.