Sunday, November 1, 2015

Re: [Yasmin_discussions] Why do Scientists engage in Art-Science practices today?

Hello all,

Here i leave an in-put for this interesting discussion from Victor F.
Puntes, ICREA Research Professor and leader of the Inorganic Nanoparticles
Group - at Catalan Institute of Nanoscience
and Nanotechnology (ICN2) -

He is developing art/sci interactions included in his team work ( and directed
a wiki for nanotechnology (nanowiki -, with Josep
Saldaña, Joan Escofet and Eudald Casals.



Nice. But soft. The question would be why there would be any reason why a
scientist will not spend time, energy, efforts and resources in arts. Who
first separated music from maths? who divided between wonder and poetry?
Painting or displaying data? How can be scientist without studying
intensively the history of knowledge, epistemology, and all the mistakes we
already did? How limited would be the understanding of the laws of nature
without philosophy? Maybe we should change our definition of scientist, and
our definition of artist, and everything will be much clear. Mercenaries
should be excluded. How are different my willing to know from my subjective
experience of the world? Or looking for the missing parameter or note or
stroke? if you can dance your phD, why not to paint your uncertainties?

the benefits of spatial representation, data visualization, efficient
communication are irrelevant details to me when compared with the benefits
of using your brain, broadly and intensively, exploring all mechanisms of
creations in order to better understand the world and the experience of it,
and then communicating it. Beautiful ideas in a beautiful suit, specially
when the content does not really exist and everything is its shape (every
though is a precise local neuronal excited topography inside the brain).
Beautiful is an emotion of good Espinoza would say.

"I feel that the surrealists have created a series of valid external
landscapes which have their direct correspondences within our own minds."
J. G. Ballard

Therefore, the first question is why there is this sci-art division, the
second is to look for those who escape from this situations and learn from
them. There should be a continuum between the most
duly incomprehensible mathematically computing brain and the most absurd
surrealist expression of man, and we should be free to move through it. Why
it is not like that and how to remove the barriers that prevent it (lack of
education I guess) seems to me key questions on this debate... while others
are developing the STEM* strategy as the revitaliser of science, ignoring
knowledge and thinking I am affraid. Ignoring the brain.

I think that there is a moral to this story, namely that it is more
important to have beauty in one's equations that to have them fit
experiment. If Schrödinger had been more confident of his work, he could
have published it some months earlier, and he could have published a more
accurate equation. It seems that if one is working from the point of view
of getting beauty in one's equations, and if one has really a sound
insight, one is on a sure line of progress. If there is not complete
agreement between the results of one's work and experiment, one should not
allow oneself to be too discouraged, because the discrepancy may well be
due to minor features that are not properly taken into account and that
will get cleared up with further development of the theory. Paul
Dirac, *Scientific
American*, May 1963.

*Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Victor F. Puntes
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