The dialog by noted astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a good introductory beginning for this blog article. Please take a few moments to view and enjoy it.

As Dr. Tyson stresses, there needs to be a common dialog between the sciences and the rest of us. This is best achieved by what he refers to as Science Literacy. Now, some folks get right nervous at that idea. They interpret Science Literacy to mean they must become knowledgeable in the sciences and immediately feel both dejected and rejected. On the other side, many scientists despite their own broad interests become both impatient and discouraged by what they interpret as disinterest or suspicion on the part of the non-scientist public.  This is a precipitous divide! We must close that divide to progress and evolve.

Paraphrasing Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman’s “Ode On A Flower” he acknowledges the beauty we all see, but he goes on to point out that as a scientist he sees deeper and reflects on the elegant science that describes how the flower came to be. Both views are valuable and are clear pathways that can lead to a unity of concept between the scientists and the rest of us. The common ground is our mutual appreciation of the respective elegance of the flower’s existence. We see beauty and delicacy, the scientist sees uniqueness and also a set of common interrelationships that produce the flower. All contribute to the flower’s glory that we both see. The challenge is for the layman and the scientist to appreciate each others particular way of seeing things.

The artist/author thinks he “shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” The botanist hopes he shall often see a living system as amazing as a tree.

There is eloquence in the expressions of appreciation and analysis from both sides. There will be unity when the layman stops to listen and learn a bit from the scientist while the scientist pauses to respect the layman’s perspective and to help to point out their mutuality, as Feynman does in his ode. The divide begins to close.

As a trained aeronautical engineer, I see a bird’s flight as optimum aerodynamics. As a long-time bird watcher I see the entire glory and beauty of both flight and the bird itself. This, to me, is an example of the successful merging of science and art.

If you wish, click on either or both of the image titles below to enjoy your own closing of the divide.  Additionally, you are encouraged to read Dr. Lewis Thomas‘s Lives of a Cell to gain an even deeper understanding of the vital link between science and the art of all that surrounds us.





Coral Reef from> http://coastal-zone-management.blogspot.com

Crab Nebula: Astrophoto by Waddell Robey/Slooh.com


Explore posts in the same categories: Humankind and Exploration, Lifeness, Marine Biology, Precious Planet, Scientific Research, self-discovery, Urge to Know

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  1. It is very encouraging to see that we are moving to celebrate and encourage the interactions of science and art. Here is a great example. http://tinyurl.com/3w379pv

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