Art | Science | Nature

Art, Science and the Natural World
The fields of art and science, and the ties of each to our natural world and the universe, have been integral to the development of societies worldwide throughout our history. However, the inter-relationships, while implied, have not been fully understood or exploited to significant potential. Art and science are tied by at least one concept we all understand – Creativity. The creative process is just as important to the success of scientific endeavors as it is to the artist who pursues a path of expression. There is shared appreciation for the inherent beauty of the worlds they explore, and a common interest in creating the new, driven by a shared curiosity for the unknown.

The Art−Science−Nature Paradigm
The evolutionary path for taking an idea or concept towards reality can be developed through a model, or paradigm, that connects the relevant fields or areas of interest, considers common traits and relationships, and defines effective approaches for meeting the defined long-term goals for each field. The relationships between the fields can be leveraged towards focused achievements, through select efforts or actions that create value and also lead to and support the long-term goals. Actions can include the provision of services and products to select target market areas. The sum of all achievements leads to significant benefits, expressed as the ultimate outcome or realty.

Proposed below is a model-based conceptual description of the relationships between art, science and the natural world as fields of interest. The intent of the model, or “Art−Science−Nature” paradigm, is to define goals and areas of achievements, empowered by creative processes, that would ultimately lead to the “Enrichment, Sustainability, and Advancement of Society”.

Potential Concept Applications

To some extent, the relationships between art and science have been explored and applied across public, private and academic/educational sectors. Higher education institutions have incorporated Arts into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curricula (i.e., STEM → STEAM), and the potential for collaboration between artists and scientists has been demonstrated in various academic and research endeavors. A notable example of Art/Science collaboration is the “Arts at CERN” program at the CERN particle physics research institute in Geneva, Switzerland. Through this interactive program, scientists gain valuable interpretive tools and artists expand their creative opportunities. Similar collaborative efforts exist in various sectors in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere, but this area of application seems largely undeveloped. Various non-profit entities have also promoted the Art/Science relationships but these efforts appear to be limited with respect to outreach and scope.

Inspiration and Change

Being active in environmental consulting for many years has provided insights and reasonable understanding of many key environmental issues. To me what counts is how we move forward and effectively deal with the concerns we must face in the years ahead. Solutions will seldom be easy, and they will demand sound science, clear and unbiased communication, and decisive commitments to develop balanced and integrated policies. If we start at the personal level – at the grass roots of it all – then we have a chance to inspire others to take on the challenges. All of us have the ability to bring about meaningful changes, transcending from the personal level to our institutional challenges.