The art of science

Daniel Hussey

The hallmark of a great artist is not only skill, but by the ability to create something new and original.  In this regard, scientists are artists.   They express themselves through discovery, often using technology as their medium.

Salvador Dali reached greatness through his unparalleled ability to pin down the intangible.  Frozen on canvas are illustrations of dreamscapes and otherworldly scenes that could only have existed in his mind.  Because of his creativity and originality, Dali is championed as vanguard of an entire artistic movement.  Surely his artistic innovations and contributions towards creating surrealism are what cemented his status as one of history’s greatest artists.  However, it must be appreciated that Dali’s considerable skill is what allowed him to be able to execute these expressions of his creativity.  His earlier works highlight masterful line drawing skill and hand control.  The surreal works would not be nearly vivid without his ability to harness realist techniques.

This combination is skill, creativity and dedication to a craft is exactly what propels great scientists to achieve their masterpiece discoveries.  Einstein’s expertise in mathematics allowed for him to express the results of his thought experiments.  The pure creativity in these thought experiments allowed Einstein to brilliantly predict the movements of sub-atomic particles and stars in ways that instrumentation is just now barely catching up with.  His theories wildly advanced the understanding of our physical world and formed the basis for inventions that are integral in our everyday life.

Science is an art, and technology is the most prevalent media of modern times.  Visual art leaped past realism through masters skilled in expressing inventions of the imagination.   In the same way, we have entered the digital age which is shaped by technologies born from masterpieces expressed in code and mathematical theory.  Regardless of the media, the ability to express ideas that are new and original is what makes an artist great.

Published in: on February 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment