Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.
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Entries in Science (10)
Since the mid-1960s, John Brockman has been at the cutting edge of ideas. Here, John Naughton introduces a passionate advocate of both science and the arts, whose website, Edge, is a salon for the world’s finest minds. In the attached article, he discusses Marshall McLuhan, elitism and the future of the internet
Although creativity keeps human society flourishing, science honestly offers few answers to how the intricate, infinitely complex concept actually works. No matter how much research pours into measuring and grasping the essential phenomenon, it seems as if more questions pop up than receive tangible answers. Theories and findings sometimes conflict with one another as well, meaning every "fact" presented here might very well end up discarded in due time. But that’s par for the course when exploring what seems almost entirely inexplicable.
“Blending art and science is about collaborating in ideas generation: the inter-relationship is critical, you can’t have one thing without the other. A bunch of code or data is just a bunch of numbers without the art.
Science can enable us to be more creative, and creativity allows us to get the most out of our data. But consider ‘the multiplier effect’. If either the data or creative are bad, the idea will fail. It’s not one or the other that we need, it’s both. It’s not science plus art equals results, it’s more science times art, so a zero for either means failure.
That is where the interesting ideas are - at that intersection. The future is all about ideas connecting. Those who can bridge art and science will be in demand, will be powerful.
So if our ideas are going to change hearts and minds, let’s blend them together.”
An interesting new paper in the Provocation Series from NESTA UK entitled "The State of Uncertainty - Innovation Policy Through Experimentation" explores the notion of innovation policy and concludes rather naively in my view "the basic problem that constrains innovation, and the main resource that propels it, is uncertainty and its resolution. This should be the focus of innovation policy. Our proposal suggests both a more powerful strategy and potentially also a more cost effective one than the traditional approach. But it will require that innovation policy be introduced, and applied, in a scientific (learning-focused) rather than political (influence-based) frame of mind." Two problems with this conclusion.