Our creation story starts with a big bang. Complexity arises, patterns emerge, things accrete and evolve. It’s a long story. How do we tell it?
The poetry of the older stories seems easier to grasp: In the beginning there was light. Or Rangi and Papa, Heaven and Earth. Or Taiowa’s nephew and nine universes. Or Olurun, orishas and the baobab tree. When we describe the emergence of life’s early molecules, or the evolution of living things, we are competing with these old stories. Science is self-correcting, so our stories keep becoming more nuanced and complex. It’s hard to find the poetry in them.
But I believe science must find the poetry in its stories. If we want to talk to anyone other than ourselves, we need to tell the important stories of science with more than just the facts. The stories of science are beautiful and strange, with plenty of material for sending a chill of awe up the spine, or coaxing a laugh at its absurdities.
Art, more than anything else, can make our stories resonate, explain difficult concepts, use the senses to make stories memorable.
Creativity is our common ground.
Art and science actually have many things in common. Both seek truths in the world, require keen observation of the senses, explore new territory, generate new tools and techniques, and above all, require creativity. Every day new partnerships are growing across the art-science divide. As we build these cross-disciplinary connections, we must keep a balance between the two cultures; it’s important that artists not just serve science, but also express their own artistic voice, without sacrificing scientific accuracy. The vision is to create a commensal symbiosis, like pollination, to the benefit of everyone.
It is my mission to bring artists and scientists together, to tell the beautiful stories of science. For more information, visit my ArtSci Consulting page or email me at
sciencecandance (at) gmail (dot) com