We are all artists & scientists

Art and science have been bosom buddies since forever. They are both ways of looking at and trying to understand the world in conversation with others. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that they were rebranded as polarized opposites: one claiming the analytical thinkers and the other the eclectic dreamers. I say out with that temporary blip in history— and in with reclaiming ourselves as both artists and scientists as we set about trying to adapt and thrive in this ever-changing world.

My hero since 10th grade, RWE reminds us of our ever-present ability to notice the world around us.

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American naturalist and writer

From the essay Nature, 1849

It’s a romantic notion, maybe, but also super attainable no matter where you live. Think about it! You have these highly-evolved super powers built in to your human body: the five senses. It’s through sight, touch, hearing, tasting and smelling that we teach ourselves about our surroundings. Pair that with whatever you happen to see, at any moment, anywhere, being a unique observation and you are on your way to how both artists and scientists get the job done. No further technology necessary, this is the key point adults can help kids understand. A second-grade student commented during a residency this year in which we were practicing how to get excited about what we saw in nature around the school playground, “I didn't know I could be my own teacher!” She went on to found the nature club for her classroom.

Check out John Maeda’s article in Scientific American for deeper musings on how an integrating art and science—STEAM instead of STEM — is what we need to solve the world’s problems now.

Coniferae     from   Kunstformen der Natur   (Art Forms in Nature) by German biologist  Ernst Haeckel .

Coniferae from Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature) by German biologist Ernst Haeckel.

Sarah Nassif