To Go Or Not To Go?

This is one of those things that I feel like I should go to, but have mixed feelings about:

Ways of Knowing: Arts and Science’s Shared Imagination – an arts/sciences interdisciplinary conference being run at Hertfordshire next week.

On the face of it, that sounds right up my street, and it’s also in memory of someone I knew who died earlier this year šŸ˜¦ And also it’s free to register, and local, both of which are pro’s.

However, a couple of things have rubbed me up the wrong way. One is that no-one here in Astronomy knew about this until about a month after the calls for proposals ended, despite the fact that we’re, umm, literally just on the opposite side of the street from the Art Department. Looking at the list of talks, I can’t see many that seem that specifically on the science side either.

And we have had a couple of previous inter-disciplinary experiments here. What they most successfully achieved was highlighting the culture differences between the science and arts groups, sadly. And it occurs to me that this could just happen again, particularly if all the talks are from one side of the aisle.

Also, there’s the issue that on Monday, a new telescope proposal landed in my lap. It’s due at midday next Thursday, and it’s already a trainwreck. I’ll probably be a trainwreck as well by next Friday, given past experience. So there’s that to consider as well.



2 Responses to “To Go Or Not To Go?”

  1. That’s the problem with this sort of art/science mixing šŸ˜¦ The things I’ve been coming across over the summer tend to highlight the differences rather than how the two disciplines could work together/find common links.

    My sympathies about your acquaintance šŸ˜¦

    …and good luck with the new telescope proposal.

  2. I think it’s partly the interpretative-vs-representative divide. Scientists don’t tend to respond too well to interpretive talks, for instance the gentleman at the last one who had one of Picasso’s pink period pictures up on the screen while he talked about how he felt it was depicting quantum mechanics and stuff. The audience reaction was, ‘Umm, no, there’s no visible connection, what is this man wittering on about?’

    Whereas, something like (for instance) space art would get a much better response, as it’s clearly representative (or at least related to) a scientific idea.

    And thanks re: the telescope proposal – I think I’ll need all the luck I can get!

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