Wednesday, April 20, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] Scientist' Mercado Central Exchange Advice FOR YOUNG ART SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS

>From Wendy Silk

Scientist' Mercado Central Exchange Advice FOR YOUNG ART SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS

Roger et al., I think most of this is in the first SEAD white paper.

Use it as you see fit.


Carol Strohecker, Roger Malina, Wendy Silk

1. Science background. I majored in Applied mathematics in biology,
did my Ph.D. in botany, and was hired at U.C. Davis with a mandate to
develop a program in modeling of plant-environment interactions. My
training in applied mathematics allowed me to see the relevance of
concepts and numerical methods from fluid dynamics to the analysis of
plant growth and development. My work, including theory, lab and field
studies, has been multi-disciplinary fusing biology, ecology, math,
physics, and engineering.

2. Motivation for hybrid art-science. Since childhood I experienced
pleasure and transcendence playing and composing music. Musical
rehearsals and performances led to many friendships and a cherished
sense of community. In contrast after decades of teaching science, my
great frustration was viewing the boredom and anxiety experienced by
many students in the classroom. Also I saw a strong need to
communicate science to nonscientists. Late in my science career I
pioneered a course Earth Water Science Song in which students, instead
of writing exams, compose and perform songs to communicate their
understanding of the course content.

3. The major obstacle has been trivialization by colleagues and
censure from politicians who see this teaching method as frivolous, in
spite of research showing the educational effectiveness of engaging
learners via the arts.

It has been difficult to get funds to continue and expand our
Art-Science fusion program. (But perhaps that is partly because arts
in general have much less funding than sciences.)

4. A great accomplishment has been the student engagement in the
Art-Science class. Pre- and post-tests show a great deal of science
learning. The students rehearse for hours and watch each other
intently. The class final, a musical show held in an art gallery in
town, is well attended. The students become teachers to the
community. They show an increase in self esteem rare in science

Another opportunity was networking supported by an NSF seed grant.
Academics from large research universities, large and small teaching
colleges, musicians and composers held several meetings to improve our
teaching methods and brainstorm new courses. Particularly meaningful
was the chance to work with professional educators to improve student
outcomes. Merryl Goldberg and her team at California State
University, San Marcos, conducted research to show dramatic
improvement in standardized test scores when teachers are trained to
incorporate arts projects into conventional curricula. Later,
interactions with Roger Malina and his extensive network were

5. What I would have done differently. Sometimes I wish I had moved
to Art-Science fusion earlier in my career. I think my teaching would
have had a larger impact. And for me communicating environmental
science effectively is an important goal. However, the tradeoff would
have been a decreased involvement in research. Perhaps the best
approach would have been to be twins.

6. Advice to potential ArtScientists. Find congenial academic
departments, professional societies, and other networking
opportunities (LASERs, online chat rooms) for stimulation and support.
Be prepared to lobby extensively to justify your interests.

On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 7:27 PM, roger malina <> wrote:
> yasminers
> ANNOUNCING A YASMIN DISCUSSION: Scientist Mercado Central Exchange
> There is a sociological fact: there is a growing number of young
> professionals in the sciences and engineering who are seeking to
> conduct also careers and activities in the arts, design. These young
> professionals face numerous obstacles due to the
> interdisciplinarity of their art-science practice.
> These art-science professionals will be participating and giving their
> "lessons learned"
> Wendy Silk- Environmental Science
> Susan Eriksson- Geosciences
> Robert Root-Bernstein Physiology
> Roger Malina Astronomy
> Guillermo Munoz Nano Science
> Francois-Joseph Lapointe Evolutionary Biology
> Dhru Deb Medical Research/Cancerology)
> Meredith Root-Bernstein: Bioscientist
> and answering the following questions developed by Francois-Joseph Lapointe:
> 1- what is your background as a professional scientist? What is your
> background in the arts, design or humanities
> 2- when and how did you become involved in a hybrid art/science practice?
> 3- what have been the major obstacles to overcome?
> 4- what have been the greatest opportunities/breakthroughs?
> 5- what would you do differently, knowing then what you know now?
> 6- any advices to someone who may want to walk in your footstep?
> 7. Add other questions and your responses you think are relevant
> if you are a professional scientist, engineer or mathematician and
> have a parallel
> professional career in the arts design or humanities= we solicit the
> lessons learned
> from your career so far
> Roger Malina

Roger F Malina
is in Dallas 1-510-853-2007
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