As I sit down to pen down my thoughts, thinking about the path that I have travelled till today, I wonder what made me choose life sciences as my career. I have always been fascinated by art ! Memories of my school days are still fresh in my mind, where I would like to doodle all the concepts in the back of my notebook, the language that I could understand better than the well-prepared lectures offered in the class. I could visualize the tough concepts in varied art forms and that at some point of time I realized that I had a natural flair for life sciences and here I am to share my thoughts on the emerging trend — Sci Art- integrating science and art.
Visual art was the only means of communication by early cavemen, who have documented the varieties of flora and fauna for thousands of years.
This integration is not new to mankind ! Prior to the 20th century all the academic disciplines were integrated together. After the 20th century, it was fragmented by the scholars. Now, again we are moving towards bridging the academic disciplines where one can learn science through the medium of arts ! What a welcome change ! I could imagine the students who are like me, who can only visualize and imagine and bring life to their thoughts than the intellectual knowledge that is transacted in the classroom.
How many of us know that Leonardo da Vinci was more a scientist than an artist ? He was able to observe and capture the differences in the arteries that carry blood away from the heart and veins that carry blood to the heart, and draw accurate models of the human circulatory system.
Louis Pasteur was trained in drawing portraits, the skill which enhanced his scientific ability to find the chirality of molecules.
We could never have probably imagined that there was a woman in the mid 19th century, named Marianne North, who travelled extensively even before Charles Darwin could and made innumerable paintings of the different species of plant that she observed during her voyage. Her paintings were an inspiration for Darwin to propose his theory of Natural Selection, and the rest of the story of Darwin we all know as the world knows it !
Let me cite a new age example of how honey bee architecture has inspired many engineers around the world to build skyscrapers resembling bee hives !
What are we leaving for the new generation in this world ? Are we allowing them to look at the world as we look at it or are we paving a way for them to look at the world with an artistic lens ?
How are we going to provide space for creative partnerships for students to work, combining art and design with science ?
Many universities and colleges in the US are teaching and enhancing art and design skills in the students so that they are able to perform extremely well in their engineering and research jobs.
Slowly this trend is now emerging in India too, by integrating arts with science. There is a lot of scope for this fusion and if the mix happens in the right proportion, then we can produce our finest citizens, who can go global!
I would strongly state that our school in Chennai is quite a forerunner in integrating arts with all subject areas right from the infrastructural design to the curriculum planning , interdisciplinary project work done , school events like STEAM DAY( Science,Technology,Engineering, Arts & Math), trips to theatre events,archaeological sites etc, industry specialists’interactions, and art integrated lesson plans’ execution.
For a sample list of art integrated science and other subjects’ projects done in our school, please check out these links:
89-91, Classic farms road,
Chennai - 600 119,