I attended a discussion panel this evening at the National Academy of Sciences on the topic of how artists and scientists can work together.

Somebody asked “Should artists who want to work with scientists be required to be up on the latest technology?”

I immediately texted my colleague, who was sitting on the other side of the room, to say “Should scientists who want to work with artists be required to be able to quote Clement Greenberg?”

My colleague texted back the deeper point, identifying neatly what had really been bothering me (and him) about the entire discussion: “It’s interesting,” he wrote, “how the idea of having the artist and scientist in one body comes up so rarely in these things.”

I texted him back bemoaning the fact that there is no good word to describe such a person.

A few minutes later, a woman in the audience got up to the mike to speak about her research. She introduced herself as an “artist/scientist”.

2 thoughts on “Artist/scientist”

  1. Veni, vidi, googli. “Word for artist scientist” yields some mention of da Vinci and in fact “Leonardo”, ( a society for the arts, sciences and technology.

    “Everyone” knows who he was, so are we Leonardos? daVincists?

    I suspect, however, that we are philosophers.

  2. I went all googly myself On PhilH’s lead, starting with the quoted text (using what “Somebody” asked). No joy. So, I whittled the search string down to seven key terms. The results were uninspiring…’til I fiddled with the knobs and dials.

    First, I remembered a recent toggling of the “Show Personal Results” filter…you know, just to see what Google thinks it knows about me? Un-toggled, that hiding of personal results poofed the hit list. (Just how long have I been spared a broader perspective with overly relevant search results?)

    Next, I poked around in the Google search menus. Ever pull down Search Tools > All Results > Reading Level? I had not. It gives you either “Basic”, “Intermediate”, and “Advanced” content. Wanting the simplest answer, I selected “Basic” reading level.

    That did it. Serendipitous satisfaction, at last.

    Presented with “artists want work scientists required latest technology”, and asked to filter to basic content, Google *really* found something of personal interest. Listed in the top three: “IBM Watson.”

    It seems that if you ask the Google uber-mind about the nature of a synthesis between artists and scientists, one of the simplest answers is…

    another supercomputer.

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