A while back I stumbled upon this band called Art vs Science. It caught my attention because of the philosophical ideas I had floating around in my head at the time about the relationship between science and art. I wondered if the band thought that their music was somehow “versus” or opposed to science.
This all lead to writing an exploratory essay in which I tried to suggest that science and art are in some sense “versus” each other because science is chiefly concerned with discovering reality as it truly is, whereas art may or may not be concerned with the world as it really is. I think that second point is especially true, but reflecting on that essay (which I deleted), I realize now that it was unnecessary and confusing to insert a “vs” into the equation.
A clearer way to think about the ideal relationship between art and science is that they can (and often do) work in conjunction. Obviously, certain pieces of art may inspire new ideas in science. It’s said, for example, that Picasso’s cubist paintings helped physicist Niels Bohr reconceptualize the inner-workings of an atom. That may be true, but I think the relationship between science and art is even simpler: the first step is research (science); the second step is representing what was found (art). And it continues like that in an infinite feedback loop.
Taking the broadest possible definition of art, even a scientific research article published in an academic journal is a piece of art, and it is a necessary and entangled part of the process.