WHAT’S ART GOT TO DO WITH IT?

Our central goal at Real Science-4-Kids is to assist youngsters in discovering joy and passion in the wonderful scientific world. The field of science is exciting! It’s growing every day with new breakthroughs and innovations. Careers in the science field are increasing at such a fast pace that there aren’t enough professionals to fill open positions. The education system is scrambling to incorporate an ever-increasing number of STEM programs to fill the demand in the workplace. With all of this focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, art is being relegated to the corner like a worn-out pair of ice skates on a sunny day — irrelevant and unnecessary. But, is art really either of those things?

What’s art got to do with it, anyway?

Is art important to science? As we educate our children and find the hours of the day continuing to be gobbled up by more and more math and science, is it really important to make time for the arts as well? J. H. van ’t Hoft — the first Nobel Prize winner in chemistry— thought so when he proposed that imagination is directly correlated to various creative activities outside science. Was his view isolated, or is there evidence of creativity and art throughout scientific history?

Most people are aware of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the world’s most amazing artists. Not as many people are aware of Leonardo da Vinci, Scientist and Inventor. Contrastingly, the world of science would be much smaller without the mind of Albert Einstein, a scientific genius. But, how many people know Albert Einstein as an accomplished violinist with a love for Mozart? In his mind, art and science worked together as one harmonious element. He was quoted as saying, “I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.” His quote expresses a habit of thinking in pictures and abstracts rather than words. Art is the foundation for that development of the mind. Einstein’s son Hans said of his father, “Whenever he felt that he had come to the end of the road or into a difficult situation in his work, he would take refuge in music, and that would usually resolve all his difficulties.”

Nature and art work in harmony with one another.

Through art we see the aesthetic beauty of the world around us. Through science we discover how it all works. One is integral to the other, and neither exists alone. Earl Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the English novelist, once said, “Art and science have their meeting point in method.”

You may be thinking that all these examples are outdated. Times have changed! Is there a fresh voice that’s more relevant to today?

How about Steve Jobs? As recently as 2011 he was quoted as saying, “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone isn’t enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” Art has not been forgotten. It is on the minds of those leading the way in today’s technological advancement.

On one hand is science. On the other, art. When we observe the beauty of the artistic world around us through the critical lens of science, an elegant dance ensues as the fingers of those hands lace together harmoniously. As increased science education becomes essential, we need to remember that art and science are both critical parts of the same mechanism — life.

The blogger Vi Hart demonstrates some of the beautiful and natural mathematical elements found in nature. Check out this link as she discusses the discovery of the Fibonacci Sequence in everyday elements of nature.

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