12
   

The art of science

 
 
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2014 08:02 pm
I've become addicted to the English quiz show QI, mostly because of the physicist Brian Cox. He's adorable and brilliant, two things I like in a man.

I was reading his bio and thought it was interesting that he was a musician, with a number one record, before becoming famous as a scientist.

It made me recall an article I'd read a few years back about Ann McKee, the neruopathologist. In the article I read she discussed how her training as a painter helped her see the patterns in damaged brain tissue.

And of course, there's di Vinci.

It seems that that art is considered a waste of time, educationally speaking, by many people.

I think science becomes pretty sterile without art.

Do you think art has a place in science?

Do you think we're selling ourselves short by pushing science in education while we devalue art?

Can you think of other artists/scientists?

Is QI a popular program in England?
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 Mar, 2014 08:56 pm
@boomerang,
Having a mind that can take in a wide focus is essential to becoming a good scientist. Art and music are two things that aid such a process.
fresco
 
  3  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 01:40 am
@boomerang,
Much of "science", especially particle physics is about finding structural patterns and sub-patterns. Hence the obvious correspondence with music. (Note Einsteins violin, or Pythagoras's musical ratios ).
QI is relatively popular due largely to Stephen Fry the chairman and some of the more irreverent panelists whose "job" is to revel in anything with a glimmer of sexual content . This provides a good balance to any intellectual and pedagogical pomposity that Fry purports to portray.
BTW. One of Cox's teachers, Professor Fred Loebinger is far more "entertaining" as a local popular lecturer on physics. Cox no doubt learned a lot from him.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 09:16 am
@JTT,
Why do you think art/liberal arts get such short shrift in education these days?

I really have a hard time understanding this.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 09:21 am
@fresco,
Should music be a standard part of the physics curriculum?

I have to admit the other guests on QI had me laughing out loud a time or two. They came up with some really funny, off the cuff comments and ideas. I think it would be fun to see Russel Brand on there.

I'll poke around and see if I can find some videos of Fred Loebinger!
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 10:34 am
@boomerang,
Because many people have a highly blinkered view if what education is and should be, Boomer.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 10:42 am
@boomerang,
I think that Art and Science are both important parts of a well rounded education. But Art isn't necessarily of much benefit to the Scientific Method. Where Art does benefit Science isn't in the scientific method itself, but in the creativity that scientists use to come up with conjectures which can then be tested with science.

The best scientists are those who possess both creativity and skeptical discipline and who know where best to apply each one.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 11:01 am
@JTT,
We've replaced education with schooling, I think.

It bothers me on such a deep level that I really have a hard time getting to the crux of why it bothers me so much.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 11:05 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
Where Art does benefit Science isn't in the scientific method itself, but in the creativity that scientists use to come up with conjectures which can then be tested with science.


Why isn't that being embraced in our "build a better baby" culture?

I read a lot of parenting, education, and student forums, blogs, articles, etc. Creative pursuits and studies are considered a waste of time by many, once the pre-school years are over.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 11:09 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Why isn't that being embraced in our "build a better baby" culture?

They still have Art classes as well as Science classes don't they? Did they stop teaching Art or something?
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 11:15 am
@rosborne979,
They have pretty much quit teaching art.

Mo's middle school doesn't offer art at all.

His elementary school only had it because the parents organized, paid for, and ran it. (I should note: we live in a fairly wealthy district and his school was considered one of the best in the state.) Even then, it was one hour a week for about twelve weeks.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 12:07 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Do you think art has a place in science?

I'm not sure about it having a place in science, but it certainly has a place in the education of a scientist. Building a meaningful scientific experiment that works is an act of creativity independence. So is developing an insightful scientific theory. An education in music, painting, or the liberal arts is crucial to developing a budding scientist's creativity. Merely memorizing the theories and re-running the experiments of scientists past will not cut it.

boomerang wrote:
Do you think we're selling ourselves short by pushing science in education while we devalue art?

Sure. Worse yet: For the foregoing reasons, I think it's a bad idea even on its own terms --- in terms of developing young scientists, that is.

boomerang wrote:
Can you think of other artists/scientists?

I don't know about professional artists, but Albert Einstein was a passable amateur violinist, Richard Feynman a talented amateur painter and bongo drummer, and so forth. Music is especially popular in physics and medicine.
Thomas
 
  5  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 12:13 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
Why do you think art/liberal arts get such short shrift in education these days?

My own guess would be cargo-cult politics. If you don't know what I mean by that, the aforementioned Richard Feynman has an interesting article on cargo-cult science. The transfer from cargo-cult natural science to cargo-cult education policy should be straightforward enough.

PS: In case you don't have the patience for the whole article, I think the core is this paragraph:
Richard Feynman wrote:
I think the educational and psychological studies I mentioned are examples of what I would like to call cargo cult science. In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they've arranged to make things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head to headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas--he's the controller--and they wait for the airplanes to land. They're doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn't work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they're missing something essential, because the planes don't land.

I think many of the people setting educational policies today practice cargo-cult pedagogics. They think it all comes down to making kids go through the motions of science: keeping a lab journal, learning their periodic table, practicing their long division, and all that. But like the Polynesian cargo-cult practicioners, they are missing many essential things about science: the critical thinking, the creativity, and the independence of mind are the first that occur to me, but I'm sure there are several others.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 12:18 pm
@boomerang,
Brian Cox is just a guest, and not that regular a one at that. QI is hugely popular over here, mostly because of Stephen Fry who is a national treasure. We get a few Americans on too. Reginald D Hunter is very popular.



(Don't see first clip if you want to see the second)

If you like Brian Cox here's a lecture by him
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 12:50 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
They have pretty much quit teaching art.

I'm sorry to hear that. I think Art and Physical Education (Gym class) are both important parts of a well rounded education.

I'll have to check the schools around here to make sure my daughter is getting the exposure I think she should have, but she's just starting kindergarden so right now she's being inundated in arts and crafts and reading and counting.

As she gets older I plan on picking up the missing pieces and weak spots of her public school education myself.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 01:29 pm
@rosborne979,
Roz: As she gets older I plan on picking up the missing pieces and weak spots of her public school education myself.
---------

Better have someone else help her with USA history and English grammar, Ros. You've not shown any competence in those areas.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 01:32 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas: I don't know about professional artists, but Albert Einstein was a passable amateur violinist, Richard Feynman a talented amateur painter and bongo drummer, and so forth. Music is especially popular in physics and medicine.
--------

What happened to Ted Nugent? Smile
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 04:12 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I've become addicted to the English quiz show QI, mostly because of the physicist Brian Cox. He's adorable and brilliant, two things I like in a man.

I was reading his bio and thought it was interesting that he was a musician, with a number one record, before becoming famous as a scientist.

It made me recall an article I'd read a few years back about Ann McKee, the neruopathologist. In the article I read she discussed how her training as a painter helped her see the patterns in damaged brain tissue.

And of course, there's di Vinci.

It seems that that art is considered a waste of time, educationally speaking, by many people.

I think science becomes pretty sterile without art.

Do you think art has a place in science?

Do you think we're selling ourselves short by pushing science in education while we devalue art?

Can you think of other artists/scientists?

Is QI a popular program in England?


I think some of the issues come from modern art.

I never really understood the random splash paint so called works of art where the artist takes the brush and just splatters paint randomly allowing it to do what ever happens naturally. No thought, no control, no inspiration just random color use. I never understood it.

Then it gets even more wild like placing a lobster on top of a telephone? Really? I might have a disconnect but I am an artist myself and I don't understand these random meshes of objects to be considered artistic.

The same with music. Music within the last 20 years has become completely deprived of soul. I find it difficult to listen to any of it. Yet they still want to be considered artists. No one is going to even remember these "artists" another ten or twenty years from now. It will be one of those questions, hey you remember such and such.. oh yeah! wow completely forgot about them..

Science is reliable because it has built within it the ability to adapt to new data and correct mistakes or errors. Art really doesn't have this ability to adapt, it seems to follow trends which are built upon nothing more than one person making a claim and the rest of the flock follow as if it were a divine mandate.

Art does delve into the abstract as I mentioned, where it can distort reality or completely transcend it but science isn't about transcending reality, it's about picking out reality and making it predictable.

Both have their merits but both have their charlatans and abusers.

On a side note I love the show QI and I have been getting into other similar shows. I also like 9 out of 10 cats does countdown. Rachel Riley is amazing at maths.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 04:21 pm
@Krumple,
K: same with music. Music within the last 20 years has become completely deprived of soul. I find it difficult to listen to any of it.
---------

Ted nugent syndrome.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Mar, 2014 04:28 pm
@Krumple,
9 out of 10 cats is a lot better than 9 out of 10 cats does countdown.
 

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