Mad Science and the Arts

December 19, 2013

An article by Jonathan Katz

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 8.42.54 PMThe executive director of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Jonathan Katz, provides insight on a book that is actually filled with inventions, discoveries, science, and technology. The information is taken from Wired Magazine and edited by Randy Alfred. The examples in the book exemplify how artistic and design skills are needed and necessary in so many instances. In what has been created through history and continues to be true today.


Taken from the article located by clicking here:

Close observation, which has been understood as the first step in modern scientific method since Francis Bacon first described it in 1620, is not only visual. Artistic skills include hearing, touching, moving, smelling, tasting; it’s useful to think of artistic skill as sensory awareness and exploration. Some scientists and engineers make extraordinary contributions because they have ideas about what needs to be heard. Heinrich Stölzel, in 1814, is credited with inventing a system of valves for the French horn. Before this time, “natural” horns were used for signals and ceremonies, but it was a rare virtuoso who could play multiple notes.

We can talk about the importance of integrating the arts, the value it brings to learning experiences for students, and how adaptable and transferable arts learning is but this statement by Katz is a great example:

I’ve checked out several compendia of “greatest inventions” and “innovations that changed the world” recently and have found some compelling themes. The breakthroughs come through an integrated mix of the three basic symbol systems that learners draw upon to understand and explore everything—numeracy, literacy and imagery (where imagery includes sensory impressions, not only visual).

I recommend that you read the entire article which will give you a broad view as well as details.



Shree Nayar

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