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”.