Art & Science (Intuitive vs. Analytical)

Mae Jemison, US Astronaut, gave a talk at a TED conference in 2002.  She spoke on the importance of recognizing the need for a balance between art and science.  That’s today’s blog post topic as it’s an issue that was brought up at our FIT conference this past weekend.  Why is it that people feel that art and science are two completely separate and often opposite studies?

Dr. Jemison mentioned that art is intuitive and science is analytical and that society places an artificial schism between the two.  However, if you think of truly gifted artists or the most brilliant inventors and scientists, you will realize that they not only accepted but truly embraced both their intuitive nature and analytical tendencies in order to create.

As a scientist turned science educator, I see the importance of removing the societal tendency to separate the two.  We must find a way to encourage interest and fine-tune abilities and skills in both areas.

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, director of NCESSE and fearless leader of the SSEP STEM initiative, reminded us that vision without funding is hallucination.  Along the same vein, I believe that analysis without intuition is blind and intuition without analysis is frivolous.

There are huge bridges that need to be built in order to deliver quality educational experiences to this nation’s children.  Until we begin to use both intuition AND analysis in our educational policy decision-making, we will suffer the loss of greatness.  The time that we waste amplifies the loss.

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